Monday 28 November 2022 11:54 PM Now Pence says Trump should APOLOGIZE for hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes trends now
Former Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that former President Donald Trump should apologize for having dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
'President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and Holocaust denier, a seat at the table and I think he should apologize for it,' Pence said in an interview with NewsNation that will air Monday night. 'And he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.'
But Pence also defended his former running mate - who he had a falling out with after he refused to overturn the 2020 election results when he chaired the joint session of Congress on January 6.
'With that being said, as I point out in the book as well, I don’t believe Donald Trump is an Anti-Semite. I don’t believe he’s a racist or a bigot. I would not have been his vice president if he was,' Pence continued.
He pointed out how Trump's daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, and that their three children are Jewish.
'His grandchildren are Jewish,' Pence said of Trump.
Pence indicated that he believed the 'broad brush of attack that media leveled at him' was unfair.
'But I think the president demonstrated profoundly poor judgment in giving those individuals a seat at the table and as I said, I think he should apologize for it. He should denounce them without qualification,' Pence added.
Trump, thus far, hasn't apologized for dining with Fuentes and anti-Semitic rapper Kanye West.
Instead on Monday he sent out a statement complaining about the Justice Department's appointment special counsel Jack Smith, calling him a 'fully weaponized monster.'
As Republican lawmakers arrived back in Washington Monday after the Thanksgiving break, condemnations of Trump slowly rolled in - though the Democratic National Committee called the broader party out for being quiet on the issue.
Former Vice President Mike Pence (right) said Monday that former President Donald Trump should apologize for having dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes
Former President Donald Trump and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, dined together alongside Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday
Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier, dined with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday
Rep. James Comer, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said Trump 'needs better judgement in who he dines with.'
Sen. Susan Collins, a prominent centrist Republican, told reporters Monday, 'I condemn white supremacy and antisemitism. The president should never have had a meal or even a meeting with Nick Fuentes.'
Collins was among the seven Republican senators to vote in favor of Trump's second impeachment. As was Sen. Bill Cassidy, who also condemned Trump Monday.
'President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites. These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party,' Cassidy tweeted.
Asked about the dinner by NBC News, retiring Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman said 'it was wrong and inappropriate to have that meeting.'
'White supremacy has no place in our nation's culture and it's antithetical to anything we stand for as Americans.'
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott agreed.
Former President Donald Trump launched his 2024 bid for the White House a week before his sit-down with a white nationalist
'There's no room in the Republican Party for white supremacist antisemitism, so it’s wrong,' Scott said.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune said that Trump should fire whatever adviser allowed the meet-up to occur.
'Well, that's just a bad idea on every level. I don't know who is - who's advising him on his staff, but I hope that whoever that person was got fired,' Thune said, according to NBC News.
Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is no stranger to criticizing Trump, called the face-to-face 'very troubling' and accused him of 'empowering' extremists.
Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp - who resisted pressure from Trump to overturn the state's 2020 presidential election result - told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that 'racism, antisemitism and denial of the Holocaust have no place in the Republican Party and are completely un-American.'
The paper reported that Georgia's Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker declined to comment on the dinner.
Walker has been endorsed by Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blew off a request for comment Monday as he entered the Senate chamber.
'I'm going to have my usual stakeout tomorrow after lunch, and I'd be happy to take your questions then,' McConnell told a reporter for Axios.
Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy condemned Trump's dinner with Fuentes and West in a Monday tweet. Cassidy was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection during his second impeachment trial
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called former President Donald Trump 'disgusting' for having dinner with 'notorious bigot' Nick Fuentes in a floor speech Monday
On Saturday, President Joe Biden told DailyMail.com, 'you don't want to know what I think,' when asked for his reaction to the dinner.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre added Monday that 'this president totally rejects bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and there is just no place for these types of vile forces in our society.'
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called Trump 'disgusting' for having dinner with the 'notorious bigot' Fuentes in a floor speech Monday.
'Last week, it was reported that Donald Trump, the former president of the United States and Republican standard bearer, had dinner at Mar-a-Lago with a notorious bigot, who fancies himself a leading thinker on the extreme edges of the hard right, embracing everything from white nationalism, to antisemitism to outright Holocaust denial,' Schumer said. 'For a former president, to sit down and have dinner with a high profile anti-Semite is disgusting, and dangerous.'
Schumer then called it 'pure evil' that Trump gave Fuentes an audience over dinner.
'Even assuming the former president didn't realize Mr. Fuentes was coming to Mar-a-Lago, for him to refuse to condemn Fuentes and his bigoted words after the dinner is appalling and it is dangerous.'
The New York Democrat, who is Jewish, said he was happy that some of Trump's allies, including fellow Jews, are pushing him to 'do the right thing' and 'condemning this vicious anti-Semite.' 'Since the former president does not seem to have the honor. The decency the humanity to do it on his own,' Schumer added.
'I vociferously condemn the former president's decision to meet with his anti-Semite and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same,' Schumer encouraged.
Since the Trump dinner, Fuentes encouraged far-right conservatives to pick a different candidate in 2024.
'What are Christian Americans going to get out of a McCarthy speakership or new Trump White House? Lower gas prices? Reduce the corporate tax rate?' Fuentes wrote in a post on Telegram. 'Years will pass us by as things remain fundamentally the same. We must dream bigger.'
Fuentes had previously backed Trump's MAGA movement.
Trump was reportedly 'very taken' with Holocaust denier Fuentes during an impromptu sit-down.
Sources told Axios the former president was impressed by his ability to 'rattle off statistics and recall speeches dating back to his 2016 campaign' - but he had no clue of his controversial background.
The Justice Department in a 2021 complaint referred to Fuentes, an alt-right figure, as a 'white supremacist' and 'America First' podcaster.'
In an episode of his podcast, Fuentes 'jokingly' denied the Holocaust and compared Jews who were burnt in Nazi concentration camps to cookies in an oven.
One source who spoke with NBC News told the outlet Trump was taken by Fuentes who: 'presented as statistician'.
They added: 'He was very knowledgeable of polls and Trump's campaign. Trump was very impressed but Trump didn't know who he was.'
NBC News has since reported those close to Trump have since been thrown into a tail-spin by the fallout from the meeting, despite the former president allegedly having no prior knowledge of who Fuentes was.
'This is a f***ing nightmare,' said one longtime Trump adviser who spoke anonymously.
The source went on to say they are concerned that the meeting could impact Trump's chances at taking the Republican nomination in 2024.
'If people are looking at [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis to run against Trump, here's another reason why,' the source said.
On Friday, Ye also confirmed that Trump was 'impressed' with Fuentes in a video posted to Twitter.
'So Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes, and Nick Fuentes, unlike so many of the lawyers, and so many of the people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he's actually a loyalist' Ye said.
In a post on Truth Social Friday evening, Trump said he didn't know Fuentes previous to the meeting, and offered an explanation on the meeting with the rapper.
'Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business,' Trump wrote in the post.
'We also discussed, to a lesser extent, politics, where I told him he should definitely not run for President, 'any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP.
'Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all the nice things he said about me on 'Tucker Carlson.' Why wouldn't I agree to meet? Also, I don't know Nick Fuentes.'
In a post on Truth Social Friday, Trump said he welcomed Ye to Mar-a-Lago for discussions surrounding business
Fuentes once 'jokingly' denied the Holocaust in an episode of his 'America First' podcast
The far-right political commentator compared Jews who were burnt in Nazi concentration camps to cookies in an oven
Three different sources, two Trump advisers and one person who is not currently involved in the Trump campaign, told NBC News Friday Ye also brought Karen Giorno, who managed the Trump campaign in Florida during the 2016 election.
The former president reportedly knew the woman by both name and sight.
A third unknown party was also brought by the rapper, however, the identity of the person is unknown and sources said he was 'an associate' of Ye's.
Fuentes is also helping Ye in his own 2024 presidential campaign, which is being managed by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor and alt-right commentator, according to the rapper.
In 2021, the Justice Department referred to Fuentes as a 'white supremacist'
This comes after Ye and Fuentes showed up at Mar-a-Lago 'unexpectedly,' according to the former president.
'This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about,' the ex-president said in an earlier post on the right-wing social media app.
'We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.'
West had previously revealed that Trump - who has already announced he'd be running for the White House in 2024 - rejected the rapper's request to be the ex-president's vice presidential pick.
Former President Donald Trump said Friday that disgraced rapper Kanye West showed up at Mar-a-Lago 'unexpectedly' and said he 'knew nothing about' his posse - that included a prominent white nationalist
West has also announced he plans to run for president in 2024.
In a two-minute campaign promo posted to Twitter Thursday, the embattled artist - who has faced backlash for his remarks disparaging Jewish people - expanded on those plans, revealing he met with Trump, 76, Wednesday to discuss them.
A day earlier, West, 45, was seen traveling with Fuentes, as he headed to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
In the brief clip, West offered his own account of the sit-down, which he said saw him air his presidential aspirations to the former commander-in-chief, who announced his own renewed bid for the Oval Office last week.
Titled 'Mar-a-Lago debrief,' the abrupt campaign teaser comes just days after West was spotted in Beverly Hills with the white supremacist, who has emerged as one of the leading figures of the far-right for his views on Jews and other minority groups.
The pair then traveled to Miami together, and were spotted outside the former president's Florida private club on Tuesday.
West, who was dropped by Adidas and several other companies last month for his