Former President Donald Trump said that Nick Fuentes's antisemitic views "wouldn't have been accepted" if he raised them during their dinner with Kanye West.
He also called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a "loser" after McConnell condemned Trump.
Trump invited West to Mar-a-Lago for dinner last week, but West showed up with Fuentes, a " notorious bigot " who is known for his Holocaust revisionism and ties to white nationalism.
After reports about the dinner broke, McConnell on Tuesday condemned Trump.
"There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy," McConnell said . "And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States."
In response to McConnell's comments, Trump called the GOP Senate leader a "loser for our nation and for the Republican Party."
Trump told Fox News:
Mitch is a loser for our nation and for the Republican Party who would not have been reelected in Kentucky without my endorsement, which he begged me for because he was going down. His well-financed opponent had $93 million ready to spend when I drove him from 2 points down to 21 points up in a matter of days.
Trump also reiterated the fact that he "had never heard of Nick Fuentes," before the dinner — a point that Fuentes also recognized on his online show.
"But certainly he didn't know I was me when I arrived at the dinner, and I didn't mean for my statements and my whole background to sort of become a public relations problem for the president," Fuentes said.
Trump said Fuentes's antisemitic views "weren't expressed" during their "very quick dinner."
"I had never heard of the man — I had no idea what his views were and they weren't expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn't have been accepted," Trump told Fox News.
Fuentes, who marched at the 2017 Unite the Right protests in Charlottesville, has voiced support for racial segregation and promised a "tidal wave of white identity."
As Breitbart News detailed :
Fuentes said his existence is " absolutely " harmed by Jewish people. In 2019, a clip emerged of Fuentes denying the Holocaust. Fuentes has called Donald Trump disavowing white supremacy "totally wrong and a big mistake." Fuentes was also at the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally in 2017.
He also said Jim Crow laws, segregated water fountains, and schools were all "better for" white and black people.
Trump's remarks to Fox News are the first time the former president has addressed Fuentes's views. In the aftermath of Trump's dinner with Fuentes and West, many members of Congress, including McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), have condemned Fuentes's antisemitic views.
Trump said that "nobody has to prove or be defensive of me and Israel," and added that Israelis acknowledge him as "the best friend and president to Israel."
"I gave them the embassy in Jerusalem," Trump said.
Trump said he accepted the dinner with West because the rap mogul "asked to see me for advice" and noted that he "heard Kanye had difficulties, including financial difficulties."
West's net worth has plummeted in recent months after espousing antisemitic rhetoric, prompting Gap and Adidas to end their partnerships with him.
"If you see him, the fake news media will create a problem," Trump continued . "If you don't see him, the fake news media will claim I'm a racist."
Trump said the dinner meeting "was uneventful," and said it "is standard for the media" to accuse him of having ties to white supremacy. The former president then called on Democrats to "condemn Antifa."
"You don't see people condemning Antifa — they destroyed Portland, what they did to Minneapolis, take a look at that," Trump said. "Why aren't people condemning Antifa?"
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