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McConnell after Trump-Fuentes dinner: Anyone meeting with antisemites 'unlikely to ever be elected president'

The minority leader, however, did not directly say whether he would support Trump if he were to win the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
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WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared to take aim at former President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his decision to host Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner last week at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Flanked by other top Republicans, the GOP's Senate leader opened his weekly news conference by saying: "First, let me just say that there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States."

McConnell didn't name Trump in his remarks and when pressed by reporters about whether he would support the former president if he wins the GOP nomination in 2024, McConnell didn't respond directly.

"There is simply no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy, and that would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices," he said.

The comments were McConnell's first about the dinner since Trump hosted Ye (the rapper formerly known as Kanye West), Fuentes and others last week. Fuentes has denied that the Holocaust occurred and Ye has made numerous antisemitic remarks recently.

Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol
Mitch McConnell on his way to the Senate on Sept. 27.Francis Chung / POLITICO via AP file

After a meeting with congressional leaders and President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also weighed in on the dinner for the first time.

Asked about the meeting, McCarthy said: "I don't think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes. He has no place in this Republican Party. I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn't know who he was."

While Trump has claimed he didn't know who Fuentes was, he has not condemned him since the dinner.

“I had never heard of the man — I had no idea what his views were, and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn’t have been accepted,” Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News Digital.

The responses from the top Republican leaders in Congress come five days after Trump shared on his Truth Social platform that he had hosted the dinner earlier in the week. Former Vice President Mike Pence said Monday, “Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table.”

A number of Senate Republicans also spoke out against Trump in interviews with reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after lawmakers returned from Thanksgiving break.