New York Former vice president Mike Pence on Monday said Donald Trump “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment” and called on him to apologise after the former president had dinner last week with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West days after launching his third campaign for the White House.
“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and Holocaust denier, a seat at the table and I think he should apologise for it. And he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification,” Pence said in an interview with NewsNation’s Leland Vitert on Monday night
Still, Pence, who is considering his own potential run against his former boss, said he does not believe Trump is antisemitic or racist and said he would not have served as Trump’s vice president if he was.
“But I think the President demonstrated profoundly poor judgment in giving those individuals a seat at the table and as I said, I think he should apologise for it,” he added. “He should denounce them without qualification.”
Trump ate dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club last Tuesday with West, now known as Ye and Nick Fuentes, an activist of far-right with a long history in antisemitic, white nationalist comments.
Trump has said that he had “never met and knew nothing about” Fuentes, who had accompanied Ye, before the meeting.
However, he has not yet acknowledged or denied the positions of Ye and Fuentes. Ye made antisemitic remarks in recent weeks. This resulted in his suspension from social networking platforms and the termination of his ties with major corporations like Adidas.
The meeting has been criticised by Jewish groups like the Zionist Organisation of America, which honoured Trump just two days before his campaign launch, Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, another potential Trump 2024 rival, who has become an outspoken Trump critic.