Republicans on Sunday joined an expanding list of political leaders and anti-racism organizations that have denounced former President Donald Trump's dinner last week with a white supremacist. Trump hosted Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, who recently lost endorsement contracts over his antisemitic comments, at his home in Florida. The former president "certainly needs better judgment in who he dines with," said GOP Rep. James Comer on NBC News. "I don't think it's a good idea for a leader that is setting an example for the country or the party to meet with an avowed racist or antisemite," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Fuentes said in a video made after the visit that he'd caused a "public relations problem" for Trump. The former president's camp was slow to react to it, per NBC News. Trump eventually posted on Truth Social that he hadn't known anything about Fuentes, who also has joked about the Holocaust. Two of the former president's aides were baffled that no one headed off a Mar-a-Lago welcome for West and Fuentes. A longtime adviser called it a nightmare and lamented that for anyone considering supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president in 2024 over Trump, "here's another reason why." Other potential candidates commented.
"Anti-Semitism is a cancer," tweeted Mike Pompeo, a former Trump secretary of state. "This is just awful, unacceptable conduct from anyone, but most particularly from a former President and current candidate," former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie posted. Hutchison, who has said he might run, told CNN, "It's very troubling and it shouldn't happen." The head of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which hosted Trump last week, said, "We strongly condemn the virulent anti-Semitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes" and urged politicians not to meet with them. A White House official denounced bigotry in a statement about the dinner, but President Biden answered reporters Saturday only with, "You don't want to hear what I think." (Read more Donald Trump stories.)