A growing number of Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, criticized Donald Trump on Monday for dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West days after launching his third campaign for the White House.
Pence, in an interview, called on Trump to apologize and said the former president had “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment” when he met last week at his Mar-a-Lago club with West, who is now known as Ye, as well as Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist with a long history of espousing antisemitic and white nationalist views.
The episode is serving as an early test of whether party leaders will continue to rally behind Trump as he embarks on yet another campaign for the White House after they have spent much of the last eight years being asked to respond to the controversies he’s created.
Trump has said he didn’t know who Fuentes was before the meeting. But he has so far refused to acknowledge or denounce the positions of either Fuentes or Ye, who has made his own series of antisemitic comments in recent weeks, leading to his suspension from social media platforms and the end of his ties with major companies like Adidas.