The White House further condemns Trump’s dinner with Ye and Fuentes

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday stepped up its criticism of former President Donald Trump’s decision to host Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida .

“This is something that is important that we speak very clearly about, and we speak very, very strongly about it. This administration, this president, completely rejects bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism and there is simply no place for these kinds of vile forces in our society,” White House press secretary Jean-Pierre said at Monday’s briefing when asked to dinner.

She also said that it is harmful if people do not condemn such events.

“If you don’t speak out against these kinds of toxic and dangerous comments or representations, if you will, that in itself is also incredibly dangerous,” said Jean-Pierre.

“We should condemn all of this, and we should be very clear, very clear and say it in absolutely clear terms,” ​​she added. “And again, this is something that we condemn, and we will continue to speak out.”

One prominent Republican who has spoken out against Trump’s decision is former Vice President Mike Pence.

“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite 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,” Pence said in an interview on NewsNation that aired Monday night.

Jean-Pierre’s comments came two days after White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates denounced the gathering in a statement. “Intolerance, hatred and anti-Semitism have absolutely no place in America — not even in Mar-A-Lago,” he wrote Saturday. “Holocaust denial is abhorrent and dangerous and must be strongly condemned.”

Trump revealed on his Truth Social platform on Friday that West called him for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. The former president said the rapper, who has repeatedly espoused and spread anti-Semitic beliefs, “turned up unexpectedly with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about”.

Fuentes, a far-right activist and Holocaust denier, is helping Ye, who recently lost major endorsement deals for making anti-Semitic remarks, with his second presidential campaign, a person familiar with the dinner conversation said. After news of the dinner became public, Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign moved into damage control.

When President Joe Biden was asked about Trump’s dinner on Saturday, he told reporters, “You don’t want to hear what I’m thinking.”

In announcing his 2020 presidential bid, Biden highlighted the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter-protesters who had gathered against a large gathering of white nationalists. One of the counter-demonstrators was killed in the incident.

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