White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said bigotry, hatred and anti-Semitism have no place in the United States.
The White House has condemned former President Donald Trump for meeting at his Florida estate with prominent white supremacist and rapper Kanye West, who has been embroiled in a storm over anti-Jewish comments.
Trump acknowledged dining at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night with West, who legally changed his name to Ye, and said he brought friends, including Nick Fuentes, an outspoken anti-Semite and racist.
“I didn’t know Nick Fuentes,” Trump posted late Friday on his Truth Social account.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates condemned Trump’s meeting with Fuentes.
“Intolerance, hatred and anti-Semitism have absolutely no place in America – not even in Mar-a-Lago. Holocaust denial is abhorrent and dangerous, and it must be strongly condemned,” Bates told CNN on Saturday.
President Joe Biden, who is spending the holiday weekend in Nantucket, dodged a question about Trump’s dinner by saying, “You don’t want to hear what I think.”
Fuentes is a Holocaust denier whose YouTube channel was permanently suspended in early 2020 for violating the platform’s hate speech policy.
Trump announced his plans to seek re-election in 2024 in mid-November, and his embrace of a white nationalist upset some of his former administration officials.
David Friedman, who was Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, blasted the dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
“Even a social visitation from an anti-Semite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable,” Friedman said in one of the tweets.
“Anti-Semites deserve no place among American leaders, right or left,” he said.
Axios, a news website, quoted a source familiar with the dinner as saying that Trump seemed “very taken” with Fuentes, although he seemed to know nothing about his background.
Ye has lost major brand partnerships with German sportswear company Adidas and US retailer Gap over recent anti-Jewish statements and associations with hardliners.