Donald Trump’s disturbing dinner at Mar-a-Lago last week with Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes is further evidence that Trump is sliding even “deeper into the heart of darkness” since he lost the 2020 election, a one-time top aide to former Vice President Mike Pence said.
The dinner last Tuesday with Fuentes and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was “incredibly poor judgment” by Trump, Pence’s former chief of staff Marc Short said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“There’s no excuse for it,” he added.
Short said he agreed with comments by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who said Friday that the dinner makes Trump an “untenable” candidate for president. Both Christie and Pence may decide to launch their own campaigns for the presidency.
Trump’s meeting with Fuentes and Ye was ironic, given that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism, Short noted.
But “ever since the election in 2020, I think the [former] president’s descended deeper into the heart of darkness here,” Short said. “I think it’s a big challenge [and] another reason Republicans are looking in a different direction in 2024.”
CNN political commentator Ashley Allison called the dinner no surprise.
Allison reminded Short that Trump supporters with Nazi flags marched in front of counterprotesters chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Trump insisted at the time there were “very fine people” on both sides.
Why “would we be surprised he had an antisemite go down to have dinner with him?” she asked. “Donald Trump is homophobic; he is an antisemite, he does racist things,” she added. If he becomes president again, it will “continue to polarize us and cause this heightened tension of hate and violence,” she added.
Fuentes is a prominent racist and antisemite who has called for denying women the right to vote. Ye vowed in October on Twitter to go “death con 3” on Jews.
Trump has insisted he didn’t recognize the high-profile political activist backed by Trump’s own allies, GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.). But witnesses reported that Trump praised Fuentes at dinner.
He also insisted he was just giving Ye advice, mostly about business. Ye was recently bounced from several lucrative sponsorships following his antisemitic tweets and comments.
In another post on Truth Social, Trump later called Ye, a “seriously troubled man.”
Ye claimed he asked Trump to be his vice president, and that Trump “screamed” at him at the dinner. But Trump praised Fuentes as they dined together, according to witness reports.