Senate Republicans from throughout the ideological spectrum criticized former President Trump for eating with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and outspoken anti-Semite, who shared bread with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago property earlier than Thanksgiving.
Republican senators usually attempt to evade questions on Trump’s conduct or present measured responses to keep away from incurring the previous president’s ire, which he’s fast to unfold on social media or in press releases.
However there was little holding again Monday when senators have been requested about Trump’s controversial assembly with Fuentes, who has turn out to be a outstanding white supremacist and anti-Semitic commentator since attending the 2017 “Unite the Proper” rally in Charlottesville. , Virginia.
“That is a foul thought on each stage,” Senate Republican Chief John Thune (RS.D.) instructed reporters. “I do not know who’s advising him on his employees, however I hope they fireplace whoever that individual was.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a Trump ally who introduced the previous president with the “Champion of Freedom” award at Mar-a-Lago final yr, declared: “There isn’t a room for anti-Semitism or supremacy. White within the Republican Occasion. . Interval.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted twice to convict Trump on impeachment prices, launched Trump.
“There isn’t a backside to the diploma to which he’s keen to demean himself and the nation. Eating with these folks was disgusting,” he instructed reporters.
Requested if he wished Trump to stay beneath the GOP banner, Romney replied: “I do not suppose he ought to be president of the USA, I do not suppose he ought to be our celebration’s nominee in 2024.”
“And I definitely don’t desire him hanging over our celebration like a gargoyle,” he added.
Requested if it was a misjudgment, Romney stated: “It is a character factor.”
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), a number one average Republican, stated Trump ought to by no means have 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,” he stated.
Trump claimed in a publish on his social media platform, Reality Social, that West requested for dinner at Mar-a-Lago and “turned up unexpectedly with three of his pals, whom he knew nothing about.”
West, nevertheless, stated Trump was “actually impressed” with Fuentes.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the GOP management staff, stated he had “by no means heard” of Fuentes, however after a reporter talked about he was a white supremacist, the Texas senator stated he was “unhealthy.” ”.
“There is not any query about it,” he stated.
Retired Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Senate Republican Occasion coverage committee, instructed reporters: “I would not wish to have dinner with any of these guys, or I would not meet with any of these guys. .”
Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.) additionally known as for a employees shakeup in response to Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and Ye, the entertainer previously often known as Kanye West, who has made a collection of anti-Semitic remarks in latest weeks.
“If the stories are true and the president did not know who he was, whoever let him into the room ought to be fired,” Tillis stated.
Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to remark Monday on Trump’s assembly with Fuentes, however stated he would have extra to say at Tuesday’s management information convention.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) instructed a CNN reporter that he anticipated Trump to convict Fuentes.
I hope you do as a result of I do know [Trump] It’s not anti-Semitic. I can let you know for a incontrovertible fact that Trump is nothing however this man. [Fuentes] It is unhealthy,” he stated. “And that man is a nasty, disgusting individual.”
Sen. Invoice Cassidy (R-La.) was one of many first Senate Republicans to criticize Trump earlier within the day.
“President Trump inviting racist anti-Semites to dinner encourages different racist anti-Semites. These attitudes are immoral and shouldn’t be taken into consideration. This isn’t the Republican Occasion,” Cassidy tweeted.
Nevertheless, some Republicans brushed apart the controversy.
“I might care much less who they’ve dinner with,” stated retired Sen. Richard Burr (RN.C.), who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. “Do I seem like somebody who cares?”