Former Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that Donald Trump was “wrong” to recently dine with him, white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, and rapper Kanye West at his Florida resort, and that the former president should apologize for it.
“President Trump was wrong to give a seat at the table to a white nationalist, anti-Semite, and Holocaust denier, and I think he should apologize for that. And she should unconditionally condemn these individuals and their hateful rhetoric,” NewsNation said in a clip that aired Monday night.
He said Trump “showed very poor judgment in giving these people a seat at the table,” adding that he did not believe Trump was “a racist or a bigot.”
Trump faced a swift reaction from members of his own party after hosting Fuentes and West at his home in Mar-a-Lago last Tuesday. The meeting came a week after the former president announced he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Pence, who is also considered a possible 2024 Republican nominee, has spoken largely positively about Trump’s politics and his time in his administration, but severed ties with the former president over his handling of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States. Capitol Building. He told CNN in November that Trump’s words and tweets on January 6 were “reckless” and that he believed there would be “better options” in 2024 than Trump.
Watch Pence’s response when asked if he would support Trump in 2024
Pence’s comments join a series of harsh criticisms aimed at Trump in recent days.
Jason Greenblatt, who served as the White House envoy to the Middle East, wrote in the Trump administration’s CNN op-ed published Monday that the dinner “shouldn’t have happened.” a period. »
I hope President Trump condemns Fuentes, West and the like for what they are – enemies of the Jews and the institutions of the United States of America. People like Fuentes are a danger to the United States. Greenblatt, who is Jewish, wrote that the President Trump I know would acknowledge this and issue this condemnation. “No matter how or why the dinner is held, no one should give haters like Fuentes and West a platform or a seat at the table.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida told CNN Monday, responding to news of the meeting, that Fuentes is a “financier and distributor of evil and poison,” and added, “I don’t know him, but man, I have problems.”
When asked if Trump should condemn Fuentes, Rubio replied: “I hope he does. Because I know he’s not an anti-Semite. I can tell you for sure that Trump is none other than this guy (Fuentes) who is the villain. And that guy is just a guy.” Dirty and disgusting. He’s the clown of the ass.”
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah strongly condemned Trump for hosting the group.
“You know, I think it’s disgusting to invite people like that to meet with a former president of the United States. I think there is — there was clearly not the slightest bit of shame for President Trump to himself and the nation,” says Romney.
When asked if Trump should apologize, Romney replied, “He doesn’t. He never sees anything wrong with anything he does, so that’s a hallmark of his approach. Either you say it’s a joke or he says he doesn’t know. But” obviously It does not pass. It’s something that frankly degrades him what he did. This is something that degrades the country as well. It’s very unfortunate. »
On Sunday, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson invited the two characters to a meeting with “extremely disturbing” and “facilitating” extremism.
GOP governor calls Trump’s dinner with Holocaust deniers and Kanye West ‘extremely upsetting’
“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader who is a role model for the country or for the party to meet (someone) who is openly racist or anti-Semitic. It’s very concerning and it shouldn’t happen and we need to avoid that kind of thing,” CNN’s Dana Bach said in a statement. of extreme empowerment.” State of the Union Program. “You want to diminish their power, not empower them. stay away. »
Hutchinson, whose term is limited and who will leave office in January, is considering making a bid for the White House in 2024.
CNN previously reported that Trump was engaged with Fuentes and found him “very interesting” at dinner, according to a source familiar with the matter, particularly Fuentes’ stats, data-reporting abilities, and knowledge of Trump’s world. At one point during the dinner, Trump said he “loved” Fuentes.
The Anti-Defamation League identified Fuentes as a white supremacist and he was banned from most major social media platforms due to his white nationalist rhetoric. Fuentes was present at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, promoting Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 election. West became embroiled in his own controversy after he repeated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and made other offensive allegations last month.
Trump acknowledged the dinner at Truth Social on Friday, writing, “Kanye West called me last week to dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly after, he showed up unannounced with three friends I didn’t know anything about. We had dinner Tuesday night.” With many of the members in the garden.Dinner was fast and quiet.Then they left for the airport.
Later on Friday, Trump reiterated that he “didn’t know” Fuentes and offered Western business advice as well as political advice.
This story has been updated with additional details.