Most GOP lawmakers choose not to criticize Trump for meeting with white supremacists

Date:

Most GOP lawmakers choose not to criticize Trump

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, November 29, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Trump’s vice president blasted the dinner with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, who has also made antisemitic remarks, and Fuentes, who has frequently shared racist and Holocaust denial propaganda online, together with other Republican members of Congress.

  • Republican lawmakers have been slower to speak out, and most of those who did on Monday stopped short of Pence’s call for an apology from Trump.

  • Democrats have already criticized the decision of the former president to eat with Fuentes and Ye soon after he started his campaign for president in 2024.Sen.

  • Since his pre-Thanksgiving dinner with Fuentes and Ye, Trump had also claimed that he had no idea who Fuentes was when the latter came to dinner at Mar-a-Lago as a guest of Ye.

  • Fuentes was one of many white nationalists who went to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 for the “Unite the Right” rally, which turned violent.

Trump’s vice president criticized the dinner with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, who has also said antisemitic things, and Fuentes, who has often shared racist and Holocaust-denying propaganda online, along with other Republican members of Congress. Republican lawmakers have been slower to speak out, and most of those who did on Monday stopped short of Pence’s call for an apology from Trump. Democrats have already criticized the former president’s decision to eat with Fuentes and Ye soon after he started his campaign for president in 2024.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential primaries, said, “I know [Trump]’s not an anti-Semite, so I want him to say something about Fuentes.” Trump is not wicked, but [Fuentes] is; he is just a terrible, disgusting person, I can assure you of that. He is a jerk trying to get more respect by hanging out with a former or possibly future president.

Other Republicans disapproved of the gathering but held off on direct censure. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, criticized the dinner as being “a horrible idea on every level” and demanded that anybody on Trump’s staff who had recommended it be fired.

Another member of the GOP leadership, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), called the meeting “crazy.” And that’s the last thing I’ll say about it. Just insane

When questioned about the meeting, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) denounced antisemitism but stopped there.

“We will not tolerate anti-Semitism,” said Daines, who will lead the Republican Senate campaign in 2024.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) added that Fuentes is “simply not somebody that I would have a meeting with,” but he wasn’t “going condemn anybody.” While not personally dining with Fuentes, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) struck a similar tone when he said, “It’s a free country; [Trump] can do anything he wants.”

Rounds and John Cornyn, a strong supporter of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a Republican from Texas, both claimed not to be familiar with Fuentes.

Rounds declared, “I’m not going to care anymore about whether or not those two persons are meeting with one another.”

Since his pre-Thanksgiving dinner with Fuentes and Ye, Trump has also claimed that he had no idea who Fuentes was when the latter came to dinner at Mar-a-Lago as a guest of Ye. Fuentes was one of many white nationalists who went to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 for the “Unite the Right” rally, which turned violent.

Trump didn’t directly criticize Fuentes in a post on his Truth Social site, but he did say that the dinner “was meant to be just Kanye and me.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La. ), who voted to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial, tried to distance himself from Trump’s behavior and the party as a whole as Senate Republicans headed to Washington on Monday evening.

Cassidy tweeted, “President Trump entertaining racist antisemites for dinner promotes more racist antisemites.” These viewpoints are unethical and should not be tolerated. There is no Republican Party here.

But as they prepare to return to Washington on Tuesday, most House Republicans have been quiet around the Capitol.

The meeting was one that Trump “never should have had,” according to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who will lead the House Oversight Committee under the GOP majority in the upcoming Congress. Comer told CNN on Monday that he “clearly” criticized the meeting. Comer was asked to say more about what he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday when he said he would not meet with Fuentes.

Asa Hutchinson, the retiring Republican governor of Arkansas, said on Sunday that Trump was setting a bad example by meeting with a “racist.”

“We must refrain from empowering such extremes.” People are empowered when you meet with them, according to Hutchinson. Whenever the subject of white supremacy, neo-Nazism, or denial of the Holocaust is brought up, he continues, “You have to make it crystal clear in your message that this is not acceptable dogma.”

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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