Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy, and that anyone “meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgement, are highly unlikely to ever be elected President.”
Though McConnell did not mention him by name in a brief press conference clip that was circulating on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, his comments appeared to reference former President Donald Trump. Trump recently met with rapper Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, and Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
Ye has come under fire in recent months for writing on Twitter that he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” comments that have been slammed as antisemitic. When returning to Twitter following a temporary suspension, one of the first messages West posted was “Shalom.”
Fuentes has been branded a Holocaust denier and white nationalist for a string of controversial actions and comments over the years. This includes attending the deadly white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, and appearing alongside an American neo-Nazi on a May 2018 podcast where he said he believed in core white nationalist beliefs, but wouldn’t label himself as a white nationalist.
Additionally, Fuentes has described Jewish people as “a hostile tribal elite” and openly used the N-word, Newsweek previously reported.
In another clip from McConnell’s press conference on Tuesday, the Kentucky lawmaker was asked if he would support Trump if he wins the Republican presidential nomination in light of his comments that there was no room for antisemitism or white supremacy in the party. McConnell did not directly answer the reporter’s question.
“Look, let me just say again, there is simply no room in the Republican Party for anti-semitism or white supremacy, and that would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices,” McConnell responded.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also addressed Trump’s meeting with Fuentes on Tuesday.
“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” McCarthy said. “He has no place in this Republican Party. I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”
Trump has said that he didn’t know who Fuentes was, but never actually condemned him, at least publicly, according to CNN. Following the Mar-a-Lago meeting, West said that Trump was “really impressed” with Fuentes.
Newsweek reached out to a Trump spokesperson and McConnell’s office for comment.
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