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 that’s important that we speak very clear about and we speak very, very forcefully about. This administration, this president, totally rejects bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and there is just no place for these types of vile forces in our society,” White House press secretary Jean-Pierre said at Monday's briefing when she was asked about the dinner.
She also said it's harmful when people don't condemn such events.
"When you do not speak out against these type of poisonous and dangerous kind of remarks or representation, if you will, that is also incredibly dangerous within itself," Jean-Pierre said.
"We should all be condemning this, and we should be very clear, very clear, and say it in really absolute clear terms," she added. "And again, this is something that we condemn and we will continue to speak out against."
One prominent Republican who has spoken out against Trump's decision is former Vice President Mike Pence.
“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. And I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric," Pence said in an interview on NewsNation airing Monday night.
Jean-Pierre's comments reinforced the White House’s denunciation of the meeting over the weekend. “Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America — including at Mar-A-Lago,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Saturday. “Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned.”
Trump said Friday on his Truth Social platform that Ye called him to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. He said Ye, who has repeatedly espoused and spread antisemitic beliefs, "unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about."
Fuentes, a far-right activist and Holocaust denier, is helping Ye, who recently lost major endorsement deals for having made antisemitic remarks, with his second presidential campaign, said a person familiar with the dinner conversation. After news of the dinner became public, Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign went into damage control mode.
Asked Saturday about Trump's dinner, President Joe Biden told reporters, "You 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 counterprotesters who had gathered in opposition to a large gathering of white nationalists. One of the counterprotesters was killed.