Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that he did not know white nationalist Nick Fuentes and did not know what his views were when he hosted him for dinner at Mar-a-Lago last week.
Speaking to Fox News Digital in an interview, the former President said that he "had never heard of Nick Fuentes."
"I had never heard of the man — I had no idea what his views were, and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn't have been accepted," Trump stressed.
As for Kanye West, who was at the meeting as well and has also faced criticism for antisemitic remarks, Trump said he "asked to see me for advice," saying that he had "heard Kanye had difficulties, including financial difficulties."
"He asked me to meet with him," Trump said. "If you see him, the fake news media will create a problem. If you don’t see him, the fake news media will claim I’m a racist."
"The meeting was uneventful," Trump continued, noting that with regard to white supremacy it "is standard for the media" to accuse him.
Trump further pointed out in the Fox News Digital interview that "there’s nobody that has proven to be more of a friend of Israel than Donald Trump."
"Nobody has to prove or be defensive of me and Israel. They have acknowledged that I’m the best friend and president to Israel," he added.
The former President has come under fire in recent days for the meeting. On Monday, a number of Senate Republicans blasted Trump over the meeting.
Also on Monday, Trump’s former Vice President, Mike Pence, said that Trump should apologize for the dinner with Fuentes.
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.”
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on the meeting. While he did not mention Trump by name, McConnell said, "There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”
Asked in the Fox Digital News interview to respond to McConnell's comments, Trump slammed the Senate GOP leader.
"Mitch is a loser for our nation and for the Republican Party who would not have been re-elected in Kentucky without my endorsement, which he begged me for because he was going down," Trump said. "His well-financed opponent had $93 million ready to spend when I drove him from two points down to 21 points up in a matter of days."
A representative for McConnell declined to comment on Trump's criticism.