The White House on Monday admonished former President Donald Trump for hosting White nationalist Nick Fuentes last week at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that while she does not often comment on questions regarding the former president, she could not hold back on this particular issue.
“When you do not speak out against these types of poisonous and dangerous kind of remarks or representations, that is also incredibly dangerous within itself,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “We should all be condemning this.”
“This president totally rejects bigotry, racism antisemitism,” she said. “There is just no place for the types of vile forces in our society.”
Mr. Fuentes was among a small group of guests who joined rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, for dinner at the former president’s home.
A Holocaust denier, Mr. Fuentes attended the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
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The Anti-Defamation League’s website describes Mr. Fuentes as “a white supremacist leader, organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”
In a statement on Truth Social last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Ye invited three associates after requesting to have dinner with the former president at his Palm Beach home. But he stopped short of naming Mr. Fuentes, in an apparent attempt to distance himself from the firebrand.
“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about,” Mr. Trump wrote.
The other guests, who were arranged by far-right commentator Milo Yiannopolous, included Mr. Trump‘s former Florida chief strategist Karen Giorno, according to details of the event reported by Timcast.com.
Ye, whose clothing and footwear lines were recently dropped after the Trump ally made a series of antisemitic remarks, posted a “Mar-a-Lago Debrief” to his recently restored Twitter account in which he claimed that Mr. Trump was “really impressed with Nick Fuentes.”
Democratic National Committee spokesperson Ammar Moussa said Friday of the meeting: “If it was any other party, breaking bread with Nick Fuentes would be instantly disqualifying for Trump. The most extreme views have found a home in today’s MAGA Republican party.”
President Biden, who said he ran for office in 2020 partly in response to Mr. Trump’s failure to directly condemn the White nationalists present that the deadly “Unite the Right” rally, was brief in showing his disgust when asked about the Mar-a-Lago confab over the weekend.
“You don’t want to know what I think,” he told reporters.