The dinner held a week ago by former U.S. President Donald Trump with, among others, white supremacist Nick Fuentes has also raised a wave of criticism among his own colleagues in the Republican Party, among them well-known allies, who at best show their utter astonishment.
That agape at his Mar-a-Lago mansion, which was also attended by rapper Kanye West – who was also involved in a controversy over anti-Semitic comments a few weeks ago – has dominated the first session of the Senate this Monday after the return for the Thanksgiving vacations.
«I have no idea what’s going on,» said the vice president of the Republicans in the Senate, Joni Ernst, who has described it as «ridiculous», an epithet also used by his colleague Shelley Moore Capito, who has reproached Trump for not knowing, as he said, with whom he was having dinner that night.
«He should know who he is having dinner with (…) I think it is ridiculous to be sitting with someone who defends such views,» said Capito, who stressed that everyone is responsible for their own actions, in response to Trump’s attempts to evade responsibility.
The reactions within the Republican Party on this issue break with the line so far, widely assumed, to ignore every time Trump starred in some kind of controversy, at a time when skepticism is also growing for his renewed intentions to be the party’s choice in the next election.
Faced with the possibility of being again the Republican candidate for the 2024 election, Senator Mitt Romney has expressed that episodes like that make it impossible for Trump to be president of the United States, according to NBC.
«I do not think he should be the candidate of our party in 202 and I really do not want him hanging over our party like a gargoyle,» said Romney, for whom Trump is always ready to «degrade» himself and the country.
Meanwhile, some of Trump’s potential rivals, such as his former vice president Mike Pence, have taken advantage of the situation to remark that «he showed extremely poor judgment» by giving shelter at his table to Fuentes, «a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier.»
However, Pence has lent a hand to the former president and recalled that his daughter Ivanka was converted to Judaism by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. «I don’t think Donald Trump is an anti-Semite. I don’t think he’s a racist or a bigot. I wouldn’t have been his vice president if he was,» Pence said Monday on NewsNation.
For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he would address the issue this week at a press conference, while in the House of Representatives, the head of the Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, has obviated the issue.