Former Vice President Mike Pence has criticised Donald Trump for his recent dinner with Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes at his Florida resort.
According to CNN, Pence told NewsNation: “President Trump was wrong to give a White nationalist, an antisemite and Holocaust denier a seat at the table, and I think he should apologise for it. And he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.”
He added that Trump “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment in giving those individuals a seat at the table,” but also noted that he does not believe that Trump is “a racist or a bigot.”
Last week, West confirmed his bid for the White House, revealing that he’d enlisted controversial right-wing figure Milo Yiannopoulos to assist with his presidential campaign. On November 24, it was reported that West had visited Trump – who likewise announced his candidacy earlier in the month – at the former-president’s Florida estate.
The rapper was seen walking through Miami airport with Fuentes, a right-wing political commentator with documented white supremacist leanings. West confirmed his visit with Trump, posting a Tweet which read: “First time at Mar-a-Lago”. According to the post, West claimed to have “left President Trump waiting” and “asked him to be my running mate in 2024.”
Trump has faced backlash from many Republicans for hosting West and Fuentes. In an op-ed for CNN, Jason Greenblatt wrote that the dinner “should not have happened. Period.”
He added: “People like Fuentes are dangerous to the United States. The President Trump that I know would recognise that and issue this condemnation. Regardless of how or why the dinner happened, haters such as Fuentes and West should not be given a platform or seat at the table by anyone.”
Marco Rubio also commented that Fuentes “is a purveyor and a spreader of an evil, poison,” and added of West: “I don’t know him, but the guy’s got some problems.”
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, said: “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’s – it’s been clear that there’s no bottom to the degree to which President Trump will degrade himself and the nation.”
First time at Mar-a-Lago
Rain and traffic
Can’t believe I kept President Trump waiting
And I had on jeans Yikes
What you guys think his response was when I asked him to be my running mate in 2024?
— ye (@kanyewest) November 23, 2022
In other news, Trump called West a “seriously troubled man” following their recent dinner together.
“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed advice,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years. I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went CRAZY!”
Trump and West’s relationship dates as far back as 2015, the year when West first announced his intention to run for president in 2020. Trump later told Rolling Stone that he “hope[d] to run against [West] someday.” The following year, West declared to crowds at his Saint Pablo Tour that “if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump,” before meeting with Trump at the Trump Towers in New York City.