Former US Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that former President Donald Trump should apologize for hosting white nationalist Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Speaking to Leland Vittert of NewsNation in an interview, Pence said 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.”
At the same time, the former Vice President stressed that he does not believe Trump is an antisemite himself.
“I don’t believe he’s a racist or a bigot. I would not have been his Vice President if he was,” he stated. “People often forget that the President’s daughter converted to Judaism, his son-in-law is a devout Jew, his grandchildren are Jewish. I think the President demonstrated profoundly poor judgement 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.”
Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, who has had his own issues with antisemitism recently, were seen dining with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday, when West said he had asked the former president to be his vice presidential running mate in 2024.
While sources confirmed to Axios that Fuentes did attend the dinner with Trump and West, Trump told the news outlet that he had never met Fuentes before dining with him.
"Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago," Trump said in a statement. "Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about."
David Friedman, former US Ambassador to Israel during Trump’s tenure, condemned Trump’s association with West and Fuentes.
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong,” Friedman wrote in a pair of tweets. “Antisemites deserve no quarter among American leaders, right or left.”