Republican Mike Pence, once known as a loyal deputy to US President Donald Trump, has criticized his former boss for having dinner with rapper Kanye West. In addition to West, other questionable guests were invited.
Trump’s dinner, which also included far-right nationalist Nick Fuentes, called for a public apology, Pence told NewsNation on Monday (local time). “I think the president showed extremely poor judgment when he gave these people a seat at the table.” Both Fuentes and West, who now calls himself Ye, are known for spreading conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slogans.
“It was wrong for President Trump to give a seat at the table to a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier, and I think he should apologize for that,” Pence said. He does not believe that Trump is an anti-Semite or racist – otherwise he would not have worked for him. However, Trump should publicly condemn the “hateful rhetoric” of his guests.
Trump received West and Fuentes last week at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida estate. When criticism then hailed, he claimed not to have known Fuentes. Trump wrote about West in the network he co-founded Truth Social: “Anyway, we got along well, he expressed no anti-Semitism.”
Pence, 63, was once a loyal Trump ally but has recently distanced himself from his former boss. He recently said he was thinking about running for president and then he was ready to run against Trump. The ex-president, who is 13 years his senior, declared almost two weeks ago that he wanted to run for the White House again for the Republicans in 2024.