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 important that we spoke very clearly about, and we spoke very, very strongly about. This administration, this president totally rejects bigotry, racism, 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 the White House briefing. Monday when asked about dinner.
He also said that it is harmful when people do not condemn these types of events.
“When you don’t speak out against these kinds of poisonous and dangerous comments or portrayals, if you want to, that’s also incredibly dangerous in and of itself,” Jean-Pierre said.
“We should all be condemning this, and we should be very clear, very clear and say it in absolutely no uncertain terms,” he added. “And again, this is something we condemn, and we will continue to speak out against it.”
One prominent Republican who has spoken out against Trump’s decision is former Vice President Mike Pence.
“President Trump was wrong to give a seat at the table to a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier. And I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric,” Pence said in a statement. interview in NewsNation airs Monday night.
Jean-Pierre’s comments came two days after White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates denounced the meeting in a statement. “Bigotry, hate and anti-Semitism have absolutely no place in America, even at Mar-A-Lago,” he wrote Saturday. “Holocaust denial is disgusting and dangerous, and must be strongly condemned.”
Trump revealed Friday on his Truth Social platform that West called him for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. The former president said the rapper, who has repeatedly defended and spread anti-Semitic beliefs, “turned up unexpectedly with three of his friends that he 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 broke, Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign went into damage control mode.
When asked about Trump’s dinner on Saturday, President Joe Biden told reporters: “They don’t want to hear what I think.”
In announcing his 2020 presidential bid, Biden highlighted the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters who had gathered to oppose a large rally of white nationalists. One of the counter-protesters was killed in the incident.