WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tore into former President Donald Trump Monday for dining last week with Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, calling the get-together “disgusting and dangerous” and saying Trump was “pure evil” for hosting the sitdown.
West, who recently lost lucrative business dealings with companies including Adidas following anti-Semitic comments, brought the Holocaust-denying Fuentes to break bread with the 76-year-old Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Nov. 22.
“For a former president to sit down and have dinner with a high-profile anti-semite is disgusting and dangerous,” Schumer said in his first post-Thanksgiving break speech on the Senate floor. “To give an anti-semite even the smallest platform – much less an audience over dinner – is pure evil.”
Trump acknowledged Friday he had invited West over for dinner, but insisted that Fuentes had shown up with the rapper unannounced.
“Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about,” the former president said in a statement emailed to The Post.
Schumer said Trump’s claim didn’t matter, because the former commander-in-chief still could not bring himself to denounce the man “who fancies himself a leading thinker on the extreme edges of the hard right, embracing everything from white nationalism to anti-semitism to outright Holocaust denial.”
“Even assuming the former president didn’t realize Mr. Fuentes was coming to Mar-a-Lago, for him to refuse to condemn Fuentes and his bigoted words after the dinner is appalling and it is dangerous,” Schumer said.
The White House joined in the criticism Monday, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying President Biden “totally rejects bigotry, racism, anti-semitism and [believes] there is just no place for these types of vile forces in our society.”
“When you do not speak out against these types of poisonous and dangerous kinds 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.”
In his Senate remarks, Schumer applauded other Republicans for “pushing [Trump] to do the right thing” and condemn Fuentes “since the former president does not seem to have the honor, the decency, the humanity to do it on his own.”
Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN on Sunday that the meeting was “very troubling.”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader that’s setting an example for the country or the party to meet with (an) avowed racist or anti-Semite,” said Hutchinson, 71. “It shouldn’t happen and we need to avoid those kind of empowering [of] the extremes.”
Hutchinson, who has said he is considering a run against Trump for the Republican nomination in 2024, said leaders should want to “diminish [extremists’] strength, not empower them.”
Also on Sunday, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told NBC News that Trump “certainly needs better judgement in who he dines with.”
“I would not take a meeting with [Fuentes.] I wouldn’t take a meeting with Kanye West either, but that’s my opinion,” said Comer, who is expected to head the House Oversight Committee when Republicans regain control of the lower chamber of Congress next year.