Former Vice President Mike Pence called on his ex-boss, former President Donald Trump, to apologize for dining with White Supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes last week.
Trump met with Fuentes, 24, after rapper Kanye West brought him to a dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Trump has since said that he agreed to the dinner because he wanted to give West, who he described as “a seriously troubled man,” some “much needed advice.” Trump has also repeatedly said that he did not know who Fuentes was when he met with him.
In an interview, Pence told NewsNation’s Leland Vittert that Trump should be careful with who he sits down with.
“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table, and I think he should apologize for it and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification,” Pence said.
Pence was careful to not cast the former president as a racist or an anti-Semite, and noted that he would not have served under him if he believed he was either of those things.
“People often forget that the president’s daughter converted to Judaism, his son-in-law is a devout Jew, his grandchildren are Jewish,” said Pence. “The broad brush of attack that the media leveled at him… I think the president demonstrated profoundly poor judgement in giving those individuals a seat at the table. He should apologize for it and denounce them without qualification.”
Former VP Mike Pence says Donald Trump should apologize for dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist, but said he doesn’t believe the former president is antisemitic. Watch the full interview on NewsNation tonight at 7p/6C. Find us on TV: https://t.co/TkQWhMl5oB pic.twitter.com/KEFBO8qa0j
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) November 28, 2022
A number of high-profile Republicans have spoken out against Fuentes in light of the dinner.
NRSC chairman Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said all Republicans should condemn white supremacy and antisemitism, and Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said he hoped whoever advised Trump before the dinner had been fired. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called Fuentes “evil,” but emphasized that he doesn’t believe Trump is an antisemite.
“From everything I know about the guy, he’s a racist clown,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said of Fuentes.