Former US President Donald Trump has come under fire for "lack of judgment” in meeting with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist who is known for his racist rhetoric.
Trump had dinner with Fuentes on Tuesday night alongside rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, US media reported on Friday.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said in a statement to Axios. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
In a second statement posted Friday evening on his Truth Social platform, Trump added he “didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”
“Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business. We also discussed, to a lesser extent, politics, where I told him he should definitely not run for President, ‘any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP.’
“Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’ Why wouldn’t I agree to meet?” Trump said.
A wide range of people condemned the meeting with Fuentes.
Christie slams Trump's 'awful lack of judgment'
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) strongly criticized Trump, saying his “awful lack of judgment” in meeting with a white supremacist who has previously espoused antisemitic and racist rhetoric showed Trump was not a good choice for the US presidency.
“This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024,” Christie told The New York Times.
Trump last week formally entered the 2024 race for the White House, his third serious presidential bid.
So far, he is the only prominent Republican to enter the race to challenge Biden.
In the meantime, multiple other GOP officials and members of the Trump administration have voiced their readiness to take part in the 2024 US presidential race.
Among the more prominent Republican volunteers include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who have acknowledged they may mount a challenge.