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Here’s What Every Potential 2024 Republican Nominee Said About Trump’s Dinner With Nick Fuentes

Only two candidates have said anything at all about the former president’s dinner with a white supremacist.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Last week, former President Donald Trump shared a meal with antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.

Fuentes, a Holocaust denier, white nationalist, and self-proclaimed racist, has threatened murder against Jews, expressed approval for the Taliban, and believes “Catholic monarchy, and just war, and crusades, and inquisitions” are much better than democracy.

Nearly every single rumored 2024 Republican presidential candidate has been silent on the shocking meeting.

Of 15 candidates The New Republic looked at, only four candidates condemned Trump’s meeting.

On Monday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney said, “There’s no bottom to the degree which [Trump]’s willing to degrade himself and the country for that matter. Having dinner with those people was disgusting.” Earlier, former Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump “was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti semite, and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table, and I think he should apologize for it.”
Days earlier, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the meeting “awful, unacceptable conduct” and outgoing Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney called it “indefensible.”

Every other Republican teasing a 2024 bid for the presidency has remained mum.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, outgoing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, former ambassador to the U.N. and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu have all refused to call out the ostensible head of their party sharing an evening meal with a Nazi.

No member of the GOP leadership in Congress has said a word.

While the party seeks to build meaningful opposition to the baseline support Trump might maintain coming into 2024, it still can’t seem to put together even a somewhat coherent organized response to Trump hanging out with a Nazi.

Republicans lost numerous close races they hoped to win during the 2022 midterms—races spearheaded by MAGA Republican candidates.

We don’t, in fact, need a “strong” or politically savvy Republican Party. But it would at least be nice have one that could even somewhat denounce racist, anti-democratic Nazis.

This piece was updated to include Pence and Romney’s statements, which came after this article was originally published.

Don Lemon Grills Jewish Trump-Era Official on Nick Fuentes Dinner: Do You Condemn Trump?

Len Khodorkovsky, who served as Donald Trump’s deputy assistant secretary of state and said he is the descendant of Holocaust survivors, got mad at Lemon’s line of questioning.

Paul Marotta/Getty Images

A former Trump official who says he is the descendant of Holocaust survivors still refuses to condemn the former president for meeting with a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

Len Khodorkovsky, who served as Donald Trump’s deputy assistant secretary of state, told CNN Monday that he is “concerned with the mainstreaming of antisemitism wherever it comes from.”

But when host Don Lemon asked if he condemned Trump, Khodorkovsky froze.

“Do you condemn the former president for meeting with antisemites, for entertaining antisemites and antisemitism?” Lemon asked. He repeated versions of the same question over the course of the men’s 10-minute exchange.

Khodorkovsky insisted that Trump was not an antisemite and accused Lemon of trying to “make this all about Trump” instead of rising antisemitism.

“It is about Trump,” Lemon replied, clearly flabbergasted. “We’re talking about the former president meeting with an antisemite. How is this not about Trump?”

Trump met last week with white supremacist Nick Fuentes, as well as rapper Kanye West, another antisemite.

Trump falsely claimed he didn’t know Fuentes’s politics. Meanwhile, the Republican establishment has been largely silent on the matter, with only a select few condemning the meeting.

Republicans Are Really Quiet After Trump’s Dinner With White Supremacist Nicholas Fuentes

Not a single member of the GOP leadership in Congress has condemned Donald Trump’s dinner with Fuentes.

Trump and McConnell at the White House
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Republican establishment has been largely silent in the week since former President Donald Trump met with dinner guest from hell white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

Fuentes, a Holocaust denier and Vladimir Putin supporter, arrived Tuesday at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate alongside rapper Kanye West, another outspoken antisemite.

Trump confirmed a few days later that he had a dinner meeting with both men. He claimed he didn’t know who Fuentes was, but he has previously retweeted a clip from Fuentes’s internet show. 

As of Monday morning, not a single member of the GOP leadership in Congress had condemned Trump’s meeting with Fuentes.

Some Republicans have spoken out against the meeting but have either been wishy-washy or avoided mentioning Trump by name. Representative James Comer said Trump merely “needs better judgment in who he dines with,” while RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel only said that white supremacy and neo-Nazism are “disgusting.”

Those who have explicitly called Trump out are not lawmakers in positions with much influence on the GOP at large.

Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both members of the House January 6 committee, were quick to condemn Trump, with Cheney calling the meeting “indefensible.” Unfortunately, both members are leaving Congress in January.

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, rumored to be considering a 2024 presidential run, said Trump knew what he was doing when he met with Fuentes and warned against “empowering the extremes.”

But Representative Kevin McCarthy, who is the Republican nominee for speaker of the House, has remained silent, likely because condemning Trump risks alienating the former leader’s supporters still in Congress (speaking of empowering the extremes). McCarthy will need every vote he can get if he is to become speaker.

Despite a poor showing by MAGA candidates during the midterms, Trump still holds considerable sway in Congress. The GOP establishment seems to be souring on him, but they still need his support to present a unified front.

Georgia Voters React to Herschel Walker Being Herschel Walker in New Warnock Ad

Georgia voters were dumbfounded by real things Republican candidate Herschel Walker said.

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It is just over a week before the Georgia runoff election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. The fate of the Senate—whether it will remain a 50–50 Democratic majority by tie-break, or outright 51–49 Democratic advantage—is up in the air.

A typical candidate might rise to the occasion and maintain a strong, focused message. But not Walker, as the Warnock campaign’s latest ad notes. From his unintelligible rambling to his outright lying, Walker has left voters wondering: “Y’all serious about this, right?”

“Not only does it make no sense—I don’t even understand what he thinks he’s saying,” said one voter.

The ad, released Saturday, includes Walker rambling about how China gets all the “good air” while America has to clean up all the other air. “It’s all the same air,” another voter responds, exasperated. Each reaction more incredulous than the last.

Just as Warnock was able to contrast himself against a candidate rife with controversy and unlikability in Kelly Loeffler during his last Georgia Senate runoff, he is poised to do the same once more against Walker.

Walker is not only a serial liar, an alleged abuser, viciously transphobic, an ostensible puppet for the GOP, and a potential tax fraudster—he’s simply not a coherent person who can connect with voters in any meaningful sense beyond being a rubber stamp for Republicans and their unpopular policies.

Glenn Youngkin Blames Virginia Walmart Shooting on “Mental Health Crisis.” So What’s His Plan?

Virginia’s Republican governor talked about a mental health crisis, but avoided the words “shooting” and “gun.”

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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has already pivoted to blaming Tuesday night’s mass shooting on the U.S. “mental health crisis,” despite pushing policies that would actually have a detrimental effect on mental health care.

Six people were killed and another four wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, Tuesday night. The shooting comes just a few days after an attack on a queer club in Colorado Springs, and less than two weeks after a shooting at the University of Virginia that left three students dead.

Youngkin, who has said he thinks there should be no gun safety measures in his state, has avoided saying the words “shooting” or “gun” when discussing any of the three most recent tragedies.

He said Wednesday that all three are “a moment to reflect on the state of mind of America and Virginia and this mental health crisis that we know we’re in the middle of.”

Mental health is often highlighted when looking for reasons behind a mass shooting, particularly among Republicans. But health experts say that doing so simplifies the circumstances that lead to such attacks. Meanwhile, widespread access to firearms and stalled gun legislation reform—most often the result of Republican opposition—are also to blame for mass shootings.

And to make matters worse, Republicans don’t actually seem to have a plan to address the mental health issues they’re so quick to cite after mass shootings.

Virginia’s latest budget, which Youngkin signed into effect in July, does include increased funding for mental health care, including start-up funding for a crisis response center and a pay raise for state and state-sponsored mental health workers.

But Youngkin’s proposed policies to roll back the rights of transgender students could have a devastating effect on teenage mental health statewide, experts say. He has also vocally opposed the expansion of Medicaid, which many rely on for mental health purposes.

In June, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law. The legislation, the first major gun reform bill in three decades, was also the biggest single expansion of mental health care in U.S. history since Obamacare and a huge expansion of Medicaid. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, the bill’s main architect, said that Republicans had initially wanted to address mental health separately from gun safety, despite constantly linking the two.

Republicans have also been working constantly to gut Medicaid, as well as the Affordable Care Act, which was the single biggest expansion of mental health care when it passed.

Where Does Herschel Walker Live? His Tax Records Say His Home Is in Texas.

A new report shows him receiving a tax break for his “principal residence” in Texas. Meanwhile, he’s running for Senate in Georgia.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Herschel Walker has lied about paying for a girlfriend’s abortion, about graduating in the top 1 percent of his college class (or graduating at all), about being a police officer, and much, much more. And now it seems like he’s lying about where he even lives.

The Georgia Senate candidate is receiving a 2022 tax break meant for Texas residents, reports CNN, potentially violating Texas tax rules and Georgia residency rules regarding voting or running for office. The revelation comes as Walker faces off against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock in a December runoff election.

The Republican is set to receive a Texas homestead tax exemption in 2022—which someone can only take on their “principal residence.” A county tax assessor office told CNN that Walker took the tax break in 2021 as well, both breaks coming after he launched his candidacy for Senate in Georgia.

Before moving to Georgia to run for office, Walker had lived in a gated community near Dallas for over a decade. Georgia has 15 rules considered for establishing residency and eligibility to run for office—including where one accepts a homestead tax exemption.

The technical legality of Walker’s Senate campaign is therefore ambiguous. Not all 15 Georgia rules have to be followed in order to establish residency. Meanwhile, the Constitution only requires a Senate candidate to be an “inhabitant” of the state they run in.

Just as Mehmet Oz was attacked for being a New Jersey outsider running in a Pennsylvania Senate race, Walker’s legitimacy as a candidate is up for debate. Even if Walker’s candidacy is up to legal snuff, the perception of him simply acting as a carpetbagging vestige of the Republican Party risks his bid.

And it won’t be easy for Walker to shake that perception. Republicans literally walk Walker around from appearance to appearance, proudly describing how the Black candidate apparently serves as a tool for the party’s political ambitions. It’s hard not to see Walker as a Republican transplant just being used by the party to try winning an election.

Tucker Carlson Guest Blames Trans People’s “Evil Agenda” for Colorado Springs Shooting

Carlson and his guest accused the LGBTQ community of bringing violence on itself, because of its support for gender-affirming care.

Tucker Carlson speaking
Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has taken his anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the wake of the Colorado Springs shooting a step further, accusing the community of continuing to bring the violence on itself.

Carlson’s guest Tuesday night was Jaimee Mitchell, the founder of Gays Against Groomers. The anti-trans group launched in June ostensibly to protect children against sexual exploitation, but really pushes a conspiracy theory that higher powers are trying to force kids to transition.

Mitchell herself has shared racist and Nazi views, follows known white supremacists on social media, and encourages violent rhetoric—and Tuesday night was no exception.

“The tragedy that happened in Colorado Springs the other night, you know, it was expected and predictable,” she told Carlson. “I don’t think it’s going to stop until we end this evil agenda that is attacking children.”

During the show, Carlson also falsely claimed that gender-affirming care for trans children was the same as child abuse and that teaching kids about gender and sexuality is sexual exploitation.

People were quick to note the chilling nature of Carlson and Mitchell’s conversation.

Five people were killed and at least 25 wounded Saturday night, the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, when a gunman entered the queer Club Q in Colorado Springs and opened fire. Two of the victims were trans, as was one of the people credited with helping to stop the shooter.

Since the shooting, many on the far right have been quick to distance themselves from having helped engender the attack—or even, like Carlson, to blame the LGBTQ community for it.

Glenn Youngkin, Who Supports No Gun Control, Is Heartbroken Over Virginia Walmart Shooting

The Virginia governor has promised to roll back existing gun control laws in the state.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who promised to roll back gun control in the state of Virginia, now says he’s heartbroken after the latest shooting in his state.

On Tuesday night, a gunman shot and killed six people at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, leaving at least another four hospitalized as of Wednesday. The shooting comes just days after a mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado at an LGBTQ club—and less than two weeks after another shooting at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville that left three students dead.

But in expressing his condolences on the string of tragedies, two of them in Virginia, Youngkin could not even muster the words “gun” or “shooting.”

Here’s the governor after last week’s shooting in Charlottesville:

And a few hours later:

And here he is, on the shooting in Chesapeake:

Virginia enacted some gun control measures in 2020, signed by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam after a gunman killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building a year earlier. This did not include a ban on assault weapons.

State Republicans have spent much of their time attempting to repeal these provisions—including laws that simply require concealed handgun permits and mandatory classes prior to obtaining those permits.

Youngkin has endorsed efforts to roll back these laws, and has also promised not to sign any other gun-control legislation while in office. Instead, he has suggested funding school resource officers or addressing the “mental health crisis.”

While mental health services surely need more resources in America, numerous studies have disproven the supposed link between mental illness and mass shootings. Moreover, addressing mental health doesn’t substitute the simple act of making it harder for potential shooters to get guns.

Youngkin has had much to say on stripping transgender schoolchildren’s rights, passing state abortion bans, and stopping schoolchildren from reading about racism, but has offered very little on what he would do to actually keep his residents safe.

At a forum last year, when Youngkin was asked what gun safety measures he would support if elected governor, he replied, “I think we need to be fully clear: none.”

Germany Players Cover Mouths and Wear Rainbows in World Cup Protest Against FIFA

“Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice,” the German team wrote on Twitter.

German team players cover their mouths with their hands
Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

After FIFA forbade team captains from wearing the rainbow OneLove armband at the World Cup in Qatar, the German team has made their opinion on LGBTQ rights loud and clear.

Before their match against Japan on Wednesday, Germany covered their mouths while posing for a team photo.

They also wore rainbow stripes on their warm-up shirts and shoes. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore the OneLove armband while sitting in the stands during the match.

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard,” the team explained on Twitter.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement—human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us.”

“Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

The German team also said Tuesday that it plans to take legal action against FIFA over the OneLove armband ban.

Biden Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments

The moratorium on student loan payments will be extended to June 30, 2023, as courts consider legal challenges to Biden’s debt relief plan.

Joe Biden speaks at a podium

Joe Biden continues to lean in, and not out, of his ambition to support millions of borrowers nationwide. On Tuesday, President Biden announced an extension of the payment pause for federal student loans, while his debt cancellation plan confronts legal challenges in court.

The pause, originally set to end in January, will now extend to June 30 or until the legal challenges are resolved, whichever comes first. As of now, payments will resume 60 days after the pause’s conclusion.

“Republican special interests and elected officials sued to deny this relief, even for their own constituents,” Biden said in an announcement video on Twitter. “But I’m completely confident my plan is legal.”

The president argued that it wouldn’t be fair to ask millions of borrowers eligible for his relief plan to resume their payments while the court was still considering his plan. “I’m never going to apologize for helping working-class and middle-class families … and I’ll continue working to make government work to deliver for all Americans,” Biden said.

In August, Biden first announced the plan to cancel up to $20,000 in debt per eligible borrower. In late October, a federal appeals court stayed the implementation of the plan, days after the government had begun accepting applications from borrowers across the nation. Now the Supreme Court is tasked with the administration’s request to supersede the appeals court and reinstate the plan.

Biden believes the June 30 deadline for the student loan payment moratorium will give the Supreme Court enough time to issue a ruling.

More on the Legal Challenges to Biden's Student Debt Relief Plan