Republican governor says Trump’s meeting with supremacist is troubling

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Former President Donald Trump’s meeting last week with white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes was “very troubling” and “empowered” extremism, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday.

“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader who is setting an example for the country or the party to meet with an outspoken racist or anti-Semite,” Hutchinson told Dana Bash of the CNN in “State of the Union”.

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“And so it’s very problematic and it shouldn’t happen and we need to avoid this kind of empowerment of the extremes. You want to lower their strength, not make them stronger. Stay away from it.”

Trump dined at his Mar-a-Lago estate last Tuesday with Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, who has been embroiled in controversy after repeating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and making other offensive claims last month.

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The Anti-Defamation League has identified Fuentes as a white supremacist and he has been banned from most major social media platforms for his rhetoric.

Fuentes was present at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 and promoted Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 election. The House committee investigating the January 6 events issued a subpoena for Fuentes in January.

Trump’s meeting with the two figures has drawn intense criticism in recent days, with Hutchinson saying on Sunday: “Well, I hope that someday we don’t have to respond to what former President Trump said or did. In this case, it is important to respond.”

Hutchinson, a former US attorney for Arkansas, has a limited term and will step down in January.

He is currently considering a 2024 White House bid and used Trump’s controversial meeting to address his own record on these issues.

“The last time I met a white supremacist, I was wearing a bulletproof vest. We arrested them, prosecuted them and sent them to prison,” he told Bash.

During last week’s dinner, Trump found Fuentes “very interesting,” said a source familiar with the meeting, particularly regarding Fuentes’ ability to cite statistics and data and his familiarity with Trump’s world.

At one point during the dinner, Trump declared that he “liked” Fuentes.

Trump mentioned the dinner in a post on Friday on the Truth Social network. “Last week, Kanye West invited me to dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” wrote the former president.

“A short time later, he showed up unexpectedly with three of his friends, about whom I knew nothing. We had dinner on Tuesday night with many members in attendance. Dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

Trump later repeated on Friday that he “didn’t know” Fuentes and that he gave West business and political advice.

Source: CNN Brasil

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