HomeNewsRepublican criticism of Trump builds after his dinner with a white supremacist

Republican criticism of Trump builds after his dinner with a white supremacist

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is embroiled in one other controversy, and this time some Republicans on Capitol Hill are much less keen to defend him.

After he dined with the infamous white supremacist Nick Fuentes and the rapper Ye, who has come underneath fireplace for antisemitic remarks, Trump faces rising denunciations from Republican senators, together with some nominal allies who not often — if ever — criticize him or his actions.

In interviews when the Senate returned from Thanksgiving recess Monday, the reactions from Senate Republicans ranged from aghast disbelief to calls to shake up Trump’s staff of advisers to a way of vindication amongst his staunchest critics inside the get together. There was little need to disregard or brush off the incident, as most GOP lawmakers sometimes do when Trump stokes controversy, and scant indication that any of them needed to defend a former president of their get together.

“Ridiculous. That’s all I’ve to say about that,” mentioned Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, a member of Senate Republican management. “I don’t know what’s happening. However once more, it’s actually ridiculous that he would do this.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., additionally looked for the proper phrase to explain the dinner assembly. Like Ernst, she, too, landed on “ridiculous.”

“I feel he ought to actually know who he’s eating with, and I discover it, uh — I wish to be sure I take advantage of the proper phrase … I completely assume it’s ridiculous to be sitting down with someone who espouses such views,” Capito advised reporters.

Requested whether or not she blames Trump or his workers, Capito replied: “We’re all accountable for our personal actions.”

Trump claimed Friday that he “knew nothing about” Fuentes, a recognized determine in far-right circles, saying he confirmed up “unexpectedly” on the dinner with Ye, the rapper previously referred to as Kanye West.

The usually reticent conservative Sen. Deb Fisher, R-Neb., made a uncommon break with Trump, saying of Fuentes when she was requested in regards to the dinner Monday: “I feel it’s at all times incorrect to raise the rhetoric that gentleman — or that particular person — employs.”

Trump not too long ago introduced his plans to run for president once more in 2024, and it stays unclear whether or not the criticism from GOP senators will persist, a lot much less loosen his iron grip on the get together base.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, supplied a fiery rebuke of Trump and his resolution to dine with Fuentes and Ye, calling it “a personality difficulty.”

“There isn’t a backside to the diploma to which he’s keen to degrade himself, and the nation for that matter. Having dinner with these folks was disgusting,” Romney mentioned, noting that he “voted to take away [Trump] from workplace twice” and saying “anyone else” can be a greater get together chief.

“I don’t assume he must be president of the US. I don’t assume he must be the nominee of our get together in 2024,” he mentioned. “And I actually don’t need him hanging over our get together like a gargoyle.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who voted to convict Trump in his 2021 impeachment trial, mentioned: “I condemn white supremacy and antisemitism. The president ought to by no means have had a meal or perhaps a assembly with Nick Fuentes.”

These weren’t the questions GOP senators needed to be answering within the Capitol on the primary day again from their Thanksgiving vacation. However given the seriousness of the problem, some lawmakers acknowledged that “no remark” — a normal go-to response when Trump will get in bother — wouldn’t suffice.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump {golfing} companion, mentioned Trump made the incorrect resolution to dine with Fuentes and Ye, though he doubted it will injury Trump’s marketing campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

“No, the assembly was dangerous. He shouldn’t have achieved it,” Graham mentioned. “However once more, you recognize, there’s a double customary about this type of stuff. And I don’t assume it’ll matter by way of his political future, however I do imagine we have to watch who we meet with. We shouldn’t give oxygen to individuals who assume this fashion.

“And right here’s one other thought: If a man’s title is Yeh, or Ye, you most likely shouldn’t be with them,” Graham mentioned, sounding not sure easy methods to pronounce the rapper’s title.

Others issued broad denunciations of antisemitism with out mentioning Trump or Fuentes.

“We can’t tolerate antisemitism, interval,” mentioned Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the incoming chair of the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., the outgoing NRSC chair, mentioned, “There’s no room within the Republican Social gathering for white supremacist antisemitism — so it’s incorrect.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, mentioned: “Antisemitism is incorrect, and white supremacy is incorrect, and that’s all there’s to it. That’s what I imagine.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a high lieutenant to Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., mentioned he couldn’t be bothered with questions on Trump and Fuentes.

“I don’t know who that’s. And I don’t see any purpose for me to touch upon what personal people do or don’t do themselves,” Cornyn mentioned. “I’ve obtained extra vital issues to do.”

McConnell indicated he would deal with the problem at his weekly information convention Tuesday. Within the Home, which is about to return to session Tuesday, Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who’s leaning rightward to attempt to win votes to turn into speaker subsequent 12 months, hadn’t commented.

Trump has blamed Ye for bringing Fuentes to the dinner. Writing on Reality Social, Trump referred to as Ye a “critically troubled man” and mentioned he had no concept who Fuentes was.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., mentioned he took Trump at his phrase and blamed Trump’s workers for not vetting Fuentes.

“If the reviews are true and the president didn’t know who he was, whoever let him within the room must be fired,” Tillis mentioned.

A number of potential 2024 rivals blasted Trump for sitting down with Fuentes, together with his personal vice chairman, Mike Pence, who mentioned Trump “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment.”

“President Trump was incorrect to present a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat on the desk. And I feel he ought to apologize for it and he ought to denounce these people and their hateful rhetoric with out qualification,” Pence mentioned Monday in an look on NewsNation.

“I don’t imagine Donald Trump is an antisemite. I don’t imagine he’s a racist or a bigot. I’d not have been his vice chairman if he was,” Pence added. “Individuals typically neglect that the president’s daughter transformed to Judaism, his son-in-law is a religious Jew, his grandchildren are Jewish.”

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