Pence, other Republicans issue rare rebuke of Trump over dinner with Fuentes and Ye

Pence, other Republicans issue rare rebuke of Trump over dinner with Fuentes and Ye


Former Vice President Mike Pence and a number of Republican lawmakers criticized Donald Trump on Monday for eating with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye, who each have a historical past of anti-Semitic feedback, marking a rare cut up with Trump on the high degree. of the GOP. .

Pence was extra forthright in his condemnation, saying in an interview with NewsNation, “President Trump was wrong to give a seat at the table to a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier. I think he should apologize for that and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.”

He joined several Republican senators who also directly criticized the former president in statements denying the dinner with Fuentes and Ye. Pence’s comments were also one of the clearest instances of the former vice president trying to distance himself from Trump, whom he served for four years, amid expectations that Pence will challenge Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — each rumored to be seeking a presidential run — were quicker to criticize Trump.

Kristin posted on Twitter on Saturday: “This is simply appalling behavior, unacceptable from anyone, but especially from a former President and current candidate.”

“Well, I hope, one day, we won’t have to answer to what former President Trump has said or done,” Hutchinson said in an interview Sunday on CNN. “In this case, it is important to respond. … I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader who is setting an example for the country or the party to meet with an avowed racist or antisemite.”

Some Senate Republicans saved their feedback centered on Fuentes particularly, or anti-Semitism extra broadly, avoiding talking immediately about Trump, in an indication of the previous president’s continued affect over the occasion.

Mike Pompeo, who served as Trump’s secretary of state and can be stated to be contemplating a run for the White House, posted on Twitter on Sunday, “Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary, I fought to stop funding to anti-Semitic groups that pushed BDS. We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”

Monday’s unusual outpouring of criticism from Senate Republicans came five days after Trump’s dinner at Mar-a-Lago and nearly three weeks after Republicans won a modest majority in the House of Representatives but failed to retake the Senate in midterm elections. sparking a wide-ranging debate over whether and how the party should move away from Trump’s influence.

“President Trump hosting racist anti-Semites for dinner emboldens other racist anti-Semites,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) posted on Twitter. “These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) stated Trump “certainly” ought to know who he was having dinner with, telling reporters Monday: “I think it’s completely ridiculous to sit down with someone who espouses those kinds of views.” .

Trump has acknowledged having a personal dinner with Fuentes and Ye at his Palm Beach, Fla., resort on Tuesday evening. According to a put up on TruthSocial, the previous president stated that Ye had invited him “to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago” and that the rapper then “showed up out of the blue with three of his friends that I knew nothing about.” .

Ye and Fuentes joined a web based present Monday evening to debate the dinner — which Ye stated was deliberate for October however was pushed again till after Trump introduced his candidacy — and its aftermath, with Ye showing to verify the model of Trump in regards to the occasions.

“[Nick] was rolling with me, I was impressed by Nick, he said, “Just come to dinner.” … We sat there and when Trump came in … I said, ‘Do you want to sit alone?’ And he says, “No, convey your pals.” “

Ye, the rapper previously generally known as Kanye West, just lately misplaced billions of {dollars} in internet price after companies minimize ties with him for persistent anti-Semitic feedback. Fuentes has espoused racist and anti-Semitic views, endorsed segregation, attacked immigrants and denied the Holocaust. He has been labeled a white supremacist chief by the Anti-Defamation League, which he denies. Trump has maintained that he didn’t know Fuentes, however has not condemned his dinner friends or their views since reviews of the meal emerged.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated in an announcement that she condemns “anti-Semitism and white supremacy” and that “the president should never have had a meal or even a meeting with Nick Fuentes.”

The public criticism of Trump was evident after years through which many Republicans remained silent as he reached out to extremists. However, many stopped brief of a full denunciation.

In his interview with NewsNation, Pence defended Trump’s character. He identified that Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, had transformed to Judaism and that her youngsters with husband Jared Kushner are Jewish.

“I do not believe that Donald Trump is an anti-Semite. I don’t believe he is racist or bigoted. “I would not have been his vp if he was,” Pence added. “I feel the president confirmed profoundly poor judgment in giving these people a seat on the desk.”

Meanwhile, several Republican senators blamed unnamed Trump staffers rather than the former president.

“Whoever was chargeable for understanding the backgrounds of the individuals within the room, I hope they’re already fired as a result of it was dangerous decision-making on their half,” Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.) said Monday. He declined to say whether Trump should apologize.

Sen. John Thune (RS.D.) informed reporters Monday that the dinner was “only a dangerous thought on each degree.”

“I do not know who suggested him [Trump] on his employees, however I hope whoever that particular person is is fired,” Thune stated.

Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mt.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) both generally said there was no place for Fuentes’ views in the GOP.

Asked if Trump ought to condemn his dinner friends, nevertheless, Scott stated: “I feel Republicans ought to condemn all white supremacy and anti-Semitism.” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) said he didn’t think anyone should “give oxygen to individuals like that,” but said he would still support Trump.

In an announcement, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated “white supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are abhorrent and don’t have any dwelling within the Republican Party.”

A spokesman for Trump didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Trump for the dinner — as well as Republicans who declined to comment on the meeting.

“There isn’t any place for these sorts of soiled forces in our society,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House. She added: “And let’s not neglect, while you say issues like that, while you … do not communicate out in opposition to these sorts of toxic and harmful remarks or appearances, if you’ll, that is additionally extremely harmful in itself.”

Nov. 28 Sen. Schumer (DN.Y.) attacked former President Donald Trump for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club last week with far-right activist Nick Fuentes. (Video: Washington Post)

On the Senate floor Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) blasted Trump over the meeting and called on lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to do the same.

“For a former president to sit down down and have dinner with a high-profile anti-Semite is disgusting and harmful,” Schumer said. “Giving an antisemite even the tiniest platform, a lot much less a dinner viewers, is pure evil.”

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Azi Paybarah contributed to this report.


An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Mar-a-Lago is located in Palm Springs, Fla. It’s in Palm Beach, Fla. The article has been corrected.

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