Senate Republicans throughout the ideological spectrum slammed former President Trump for having dinner with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken white supremacist and antisemite, who broke bread with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago property earlier than Thanksgiving.
Republican senators usually attempt to duck questions on Trump’s conduct or give measured responses to keep away from frightening the previous president’s wrath, which he’s fast to dole out on social media or in press releases.
However there was little holding again on Monday when senators had been requested about Trump’s controversial assembly with Fuentes, who has change into a distinguished white supremacist and antisemitic commentator since attending the 2017 “Unite the Proper” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
“That’s only a unhealthy concept on each degree,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) advised reporters. “I don’t know who’s advising him on his employees, however I hope that whoever that particular person was bought fired.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a Trump ally who gave the previous president a “Champion of Freedom” award at Mar-a-Lago final 12 months, declared, “There’s no room for antisemitism or white supremacy within the Republican Social gathering. Interval.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted twice to convict Trump on impeachment fees, let free on Trump.
“There’s no backside to the diploma which he’s prepared to degrade himself and the nation, for that matter. Having dinner with these individuals was disgusting,” he advised reporters.
Requested if he needed Trump to stay below the GOP’s tent, Romney replied, “I don’t suppose he must be president of america. I don’t suppose he must be the nominee of our get together in 2024.”
“And I definitely don’t need him hanging over our get together like a gargoyle,” he added.
Requested if it was a lapse in judgment, Romney stated, “It’s a personality challenge.”
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), a distinguished Republican average, stated Trump ought to have by no means met with Fuentes.
“I condemn white supremacy and antisemitism. The president ought to by no means have had a meal or perhaps a assembly with Nick Fuentes,” she stated.
Trump claimed in a publish on his social media platform, Fact Social, that Ye, the rapper previously often called Kanye West, requested to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago and “unexpectedly confirmed up with three of his associates, whom I knew nothing about.”
Ye, nonetheless, stated that Trump was “actually impressed” with Fuentes.
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), a member of the GOP management workforce, stated he had “by no means heard” of Fuentes, however after a reporter talked about Fuentes was a white supremacist, the Texas senator stated it was “unhealthy.”
“No query about it,” he stated.
Retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the Senate Republican Coverage Committee chairman, advised reporters, “I wouldn’t need to have dinner with both a type of guys, or I wouldn’t meet with both a type of guys.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) additionally known as for a employees shake-up in response to Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and Ye, who himself has made a slew of antisemitic statements in current weeks.
“If the stories are true and the president didn’t know who he was, whoever let him within the room must be fired,” Tillis stated.
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to remark Monday about Trump’s assembly with Fuentes however stated he would have extra to say on the Tuesday management press convention.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) advised a reporter for CNN that he hoped Trump would condemn Fuentes.
“I hope he’ll as a result of I do know [Trump] just isn’t an antisemite. I can let you know that for a undeniable fact that Trump just isn’t, however this man [Fuentes] is evil,” he stated. “And that man is a nasty, disgusting particular person.”
Sen. Invoice Cassidy (La.) was one of many first Senate Republicans out of the gate criticizing Trump earlier within the day.
“President Trump internet hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages different racist antisemites. These attitudes are immoral and shouldn’t be entertained. This isn’t the Republican Social gathering,” Cassidy tweeted.
Some Republicans, nonetheless, waved apart the controversy.
“I might care much less who they’ve dinner with,” stated retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. “Do I appear like anyone that cared?”