NEW YORK — Some Republican lawmakers criticized former President Donald Trump by name Monday for his meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, both said Trump should not have given a platform to the notorious hatemonger at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
“Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites,” Cassidy tweeted.
“The [former] president should never have had a meal or even a meeting with Nick Fuentes,” Collins added to reporters.
The open criticism of Trump from two relatively moderate Republicans came as virtually all of their GOP colleagues either stayed silent or issued pro-forma denunciations of hatred without mentioning Trump or his dinner with Fuentes.
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, noted that no member of the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives issued a clear rebuke to Trump.
“The wall to wall silence from the incoming majority is speaking volumes,” Nadler tweeted.
Trump met with Fuentes along with rapper Kanye West last week at his Florida resort club. Trump was reportedly impressed with Fuentes, who told the former president to speak off the cuff and avoid scripted speeches like the listless announcement of his 2024 presidential run.
“He gets me,” Trump reportedly remarked to West, who now goes only by the name “Ye.”
Trump later claimed he didn’t know Fuentes and blamed West for bringing him along unannounced.
Trump has refused to apologize for meeting with Fuentes, whom the Anti-Defamation League brands as a “prominent white supremacist pundit and organizer.” Trump reportedly rejected advice over the Thanksgiving weekend to express remorse for the meeting, suggesting that doing so might offend members of his far right-wing MAGA base.
The meeting even drew rare criticism of Trump by some conservative Jews who are usual staunch allies, including the Zionist Organization of America and Trump’s own former ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who called Fuentes “human scum.”
Story by Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News.