Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and prominent Orthodox Jewish community activist, lashed out at Donald Trump over his November dinner meeting with rapper Kanye West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
Hikind, who backed Trump during his two presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020, told The Jerusalem Post in a report published Monday that he can never support the former president again after he hosted the two prominent antisemites, and refused to apologize or condemn either of them.
“Trump has disqualified himself, plain and simple; it's over for him,” Hikind said.
“This incident goes beyond the pale,” Hikind continued. “It never should have happened in the first place, but after it did happen, Donald Trump should have apologized.”
“He should have said something. He said he didn't know who [Fuentes] was. He said he didn't know a Holocaust denier was sitting at the same table with him enjoying dinner.”
"Nobody Googled who was having dinner with the former president?"
"I don't know if I believe that, but let's say it's true. By the next day, he knew, how come he didn't say anything? And [Trump] said he likes Kanye regardless of what he says because ‘he says nice things about me.’ It's pathetic.”
Even prior to the dinner with Fuentes and West, Hikind called on Trump not to run for president in 2024, citing the poor performance of the Republican party in this year’s midterm elections.
“I would advise you, and I have great respect for you and things you accomplished…announce to the country that DeSantis is the one that we should support so that we can win the White House in 2024’.”
“Donald Trump, you had your opportunity, you hurt your party that you love, your country, in this election. So Donald Trump, move on.”
After coming under criticism – including from stalwart supports including former Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – Trump claimed he was unfamiliar with Fuentes when West brought him for a dinner meeting, but fell short of apologizing or condemning either West or Fuentes over their antisemitic comments.
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.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also 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.”