Pence says Trump was ‘wrong’ for dinner with Holocaust denier



CNN

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that Donald Trump was “wrong” to have dinner with white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West at his Florida resort recently, and that the former president should apologize.

“President Trump was wrong to give a seat at the table to a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and a Holocaust denier, and I think he should apologize for that.” And he should condemn those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without reservation,” Pence told NewsNation in a clip released Monday night.

Trump “showed very poor judgment in giving those individuals a seat at the table,” he said, adding that he did not believe Trump was “a racist or a bigot.”

Trump drew a swift response from members of his own party when he hosted Fuentes and West at his Mar-a-Lago estate last Tuesday. The meeting comes a week after the former president announced he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Pence, who has also been considered a potential 2024 candidate. the Republican nominee, has largely spoken favorably of Trump’s policies and his time in his administration, but has split with the former president over the 2021 campaign. January 6 attack on the United States. Capitol. At a November town hall, he told CNN that Trump’s words and tweet on Jan. 6 were “careless” and that he believes that in 2024 there will be “better choices” than Trump.

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Watch Pence’s response to the question of whether he will support Trump in 2024

Pence’s comments join intense criticism of Trump in recent days.

Jason Greenblatt, who served as the White House’s Middle East envoy in the Trump administration, wrote in a statement to CNN on Monday that the dinner “shouldn’t have happened. Period”.

“I hope that President Trump will condemn Fuentes, West and people like them for what they are – haters of Jews and the foundation of the United States of America.” People like Fuentes are dangerous to the United States. President Trump, who I know, would recognize it and condemn it,” wrote Greenblatt, a Jew. “Regardless of how or why the dinner happened, haters like Fuentes and West should not be given a platform or a seat at the table.”

Responding to news of the meeting, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told CNN on Monday that Fuentes “is a purveyor of evil, a purveyor of poison,” adding to West, “I don’t know him, but the guy’s got some issues.”

Asked if Trump should censure Fuentes, Rubio said: “I hope he does. Because I know he is not anti-Semitic. I can tell you that it’s not really Trump, it’s this guy (Fuentes) who is evil. And that guy is just a nasty, disgusting person. He’s a clown ass.”

Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah strongly condemned Trump, who hosted the group.

“You know, I think it’s disgusting to invite people like that to meet the former president of the United States. I think there’s — it’s been clear that there’s no bottom to which President Trump will lower himself and the nation,” Romney said.

Asked if Trump should apologize, Romney said: “He doesn’t. He never sees anything wrong with what he does, so it’s typical of his attitude to say it was a joke or say he didn’t know what was going on. But that obviously doesn’t fly. Frankly, it humiliates him to do what he did. And it also belittles the country. Very sorry”.

On Sunday, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson called the meeting with the two figures “very troubling” and “valid” for extremism.

Donald Trump Asa Hutchinson divorced

GOP governor calls Trump’s dinner with Holocaust denier and Kanye West ‘very disturbing’

“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader who sets an example for a country or a party to meet with (an) avowed racist or anti-Semite. So it’s very troubling and it shouldn’t happen, and we have to avoid enabling these extremes,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash on the State of the Union. “You want to disempower them, not empower them.” Stay away from him.”

Hutchinson, who is term-limited and leaves office in January, is currently considering a 2024 run. White House proposal.

CNN previously reported that Trump was engaged to Fuentes and found him “very interesting” during the dinner, according to a source familiar with her, particularly Fuentes’ ability to distort statistics and data and his familiarity with Trump’s world. At one point during the dinner, Trump said he “likes” Fuentes.

Fuentes has been identified as a white supremacist by the Anti-Defamation League and has been banned from most major social media platforms for his white nationalist rhetoric. Fuentes attended the US Capitol grounds in 2021. January 6 and promoted Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in 2020. in the elections. Last month, West became embroiled in his own controversy after repeating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and making other offensive claims.

Trump acknowledged the dinner in a post on Truth Social on Friday, writing: “Kanye West called me to dinner at Mar-a-Lago last week. Soon after, he unexpectedly appeared with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. Tuesday night we had dinner with many members in the back yard. Dinner was quick and painless. Then they left for the airport.

Trump later on Friday reiterated that he “didn’t know” Fuentes and offered business and political advice to the West.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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