He joined several Republican senators who also directly criticized the former president in statements refusing to dine with Fuentes and Yeh. Pence’s comments were also one of the clearest examples of the former vice president trying to differentiate himself from Trump, whom he served four years as Pence is expected to challenge Trump’s Republican presidential nomination in 2024 nominated.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — both rumored to be eyeing the presidential race — were quicker to criticize Trump.
Christy tweets Saturday: “This is horrible, unacceptable behavior for anyone, especially the behavior of a former president and current candidate.”
“Well, I hope one day we don’t have to respond to things that former President Trump said or did,” Hutchinson said in an interview with CNN on Sunday. “In this case, it’s important to respond. … I think that for a leader who sets an example for his country or his party, it’s important to meet and Not a good idea.”
Some Senate Republicans focused their comments on Fuentes specifically or on anti-Semitism broadly, avoiding talking directly about Trump, in a sign of the former president’s continuing influence on the party.
Mike Pompeo, who served as Trump’s secretary of state, is also said to be considering a run for the White House, tweets Sunday, “Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary of State, I work hard to ban funding for anti-Semitic groups that promote BDS. We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest prejudice.”
Five days after Trump hosted a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, and nearly three weeks after Republicans won a modest majority in the House but failed to retake the Senate in midterm elections, Trump faced an unusually high volume of criticism from Senate Republicans on Monday. , sparking a debate over whether and how the party should shake off Trump.
“President Trump hosting racist antisemites to dinner encourages other racist antisemites,” the senator said. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) tweets. “These attitudes are immoral and should not be accepted. This is not the Republican Party.”
Mori. Shirley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) said Trump should “definitely” know who he dined with, telling reporters Monday, “I totally think it’s a good idea to sit with someone who supports that view.” ridiculous.”
Trump acknowledged that he had a private dinner with Fuentes and Yeh at his resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday night. According to a post on TruthSocial, the former president said Yeh called him “to go to Mar-a-Lago for dinner,” and then the rapper “showed up unexpectedly with three of his friends, and I’m sorry for them.” Nothing.”
Ye and Fuentes joined an online show Monday night to discuss the dinner — which Ye said had been scheduled for October but was postponed until after Trump announced his candidacy — and its aftermath, and Ye appeared to confirm Trump’s Trump’s account of events.
“[Nick] Roll with me, Nick was so impressed, I was like, “Just came over to dinner.” … We sat there, and when Trump came in … I Say, ‘Would you like to sit alone? He said, “No, bring your friends.”
Rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, recently cut ties with businesses over repeated anti-Semitic comments that wiped out billions of dollars from his fortune. Fuentes espoused racist and anti-Semitic views, supported apartheid, attacked immigrants and downplayed the Holocaust. He has been labeled by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist leader, which he denies. Trump claimed he did not know Fuentes, but he has not condemned his dinner guests or their views since reports of the meal emerged.
Mori. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement that she condemned “anti-Semitism and white supremacy” and that “the president should not have dinner or even meet with Nick Fuentes.”
For years, many Republicans remained silent as he courted extremists, while public criticism of Trump stood out. Still, many did not cast a sweeping condemnation.
In an interview with NewsNation, Pence defended Trump’s character. He pointed out that Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, has converted to Judaism and that her children with her husband Jared Kushner are Jewish.
“I don’t think Donald Trump is anti-Semite. I don’t believe he’s racist or bigot. If he was, I wouldn’t be his vice president,” Pence added. “I think the president is showing terrible judgment in putting these people at the negotiating table.”
Meanwhile, several Republican senators have pinned the blame on unnamed Trump staffers rather than the former president.
“Whoever had the responsibility to know the background of the people in the room, I hope they’ve been fired because that was their bad decision,” the senator said. Thom Tillis (RN.C.) said Monday. He declined to say whether Trump should apologize.
Mori. John Thune (RS.D.) told reporters Monday that the dinner was “a bad idea on every level.”
“I don’t know who suggested [Trump] On his staff, but I hope that guy gets fired,” Thune said.
Feel. Both Steve Daines (R-Mt.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) generally said Fuentes’ views have no place in the Republican Party.
However, when asked whether Trump should condemn his dinner guests, Scott said, “I think Republicans should all condemn white supremacy and anti-Semitism.” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) said he didn’t think anyone should “give oxygen to someone like that,” but said he would still support Trump.
“White supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and have no place in the Republican Party,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Rhona McDaniel said in a statement.
A spokesman for Trump did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Trump’s dinner and Republicans who declined to comment on the meeting.
“In our society, these types of evil forces have no place,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House. She added: “Let’s not forget that when you say things like this, when you… …When you don’t object to these toxic and dangerous speeches or statements, that’s very dangerous in itself, if you will.”
On the Senate floor Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted Trump’s meeting and called on lawmakers from both parties to do the same.
“It is disgusting and dangerous for a former president to sit down to dinner with a high-profile anti-Semite,” Schumer said. “Give an anti-Semite even the smallest platform, let alone at dinner. The audience, it’s pure evil.”
Leigh Ann Caldwell, Azi Paybarah, Hannah Knowles and Isaac Arnsdorf contributed to this report.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Mar-a-Lago was located in Palm Springs, Florida. It is located in Palm Beach, Florida. Article has been corrected.