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Republican House leader McCarthy condemns Trump’s white supremacist guest Fuentes

Kevin McCarthy, a top congressional Republican, broke his silence on Monday about former President Donald Trump’s dinner with white supremacist
Nick Fuentes, saying the Republican Party has no place in it for Fuentes’ beliefs.

November 30, 2022
30 November 2022

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Kevin McCarthy, a top
congressional Republican, broke his silence on Monday about
former President Donald Trump’s dinner with white supremacist
Nick Fuentes, saying the Republican Party has no place in it for
Fuentes’ beliefs.

McCarthy, who may become speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives when Republicans take control in January, had
not commented on the meeting, which took place a week ago.

He was pressed for his thoughts on the meeting by reporters
at the White House after talks with President Joe Biden.

“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick
Fuentes,” said McCarthy, currently the House minority leader.
“His views are nowhere within the Republican Party or within
this country itself.”

Trump has said the encounter at his Mar-A-Lago resort in
Palm Beach, Florida, was inadvertent, but the meeting has drawn
rare criticism from fellow Republicans, some of whom accused
Trump of empowering extremism.

Fuentes has been described as a white supremacist by the
U.S. Justice Department. The Anti-Defamation League said Fuentes
once “‘jokingly denied the Holocaust and compared Jews burnt in
concentration camps to cookies in an oven.'”

Trump on Nov. 15 began his third consecutive run for the
presidency, saying he would seek the Republican nomination for
the 2024 election.

While president, Trump was broadly criticized for not
explicitly condemning white nationalists whose August 2017 rally
on a college campus in Charlottesville, Virginia, was seen as
having provoked violence with counter-protesters, one of whom
died.

“You also had people that were very fine people on both
sides,” Trump said at the time.

PENCE CALLS FOR APOLOGY

Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence on Monday called
for an apology from Trump for the meeting with Fuentes.

“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an
anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table, and I
think he should apologize,” Pence said in a televised interview
with NewsNation.

McCarthy, who is seeking to take over as House speaker when
Republicans assume control of the chamber in January, said Trump
said he didn’t know who Fuentes was.

“I condemn his ideology. It has no place in society,” he
said of Fuentes. Tuesday’s comments were McCarthy’s first
directly addressing the Trump dinner.

Fuentes attended the dinner with Ye, the musician formerly
known as Kanye West, who has also drawn widespread criticism for
anti-Semitic comments.

“The president will have meetings with who he wants. I don’t
think anybody, though, should have a meeting with Nick Fuentes,
and his views should come nowhere within the Republican Party or
the country itself,” McCarthy said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Susan Heavey; Editing by
Caitlin Webber, Heather Timmons and Grant McCool)

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