Lindsey Graham: Trump's decision to host Holocaust denier at Mar-a-Lago was 'a bad day for him'
Lindsey Graham

WASHINGTON — Now that officials have returned to Congress for the lame-duck session, Republicans are being asked about their party's former president meeting with avowed anti-Semites at his country club.

Speaking to Raw Story on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said flatly he couldn't understand why Donald Trump would take a meeting with Kanye West to begin with.

"I just think any time we're talking about that is a bad day for him," said Graham. "I don't know why you'd want to give oxygen to Kanye West. And I don't doubt that Trump didn't know the other guy."

The "other guy" that Graham is referring to is radical right-wing extremist Nick Fuentes, who supports a range of policies like mandating American women be denied the right to vote, demanding they wear veils in church and requiring that they marry early as teens and serve as a baby-making factory. In one show he lamented the "good old days" when men could punch women and burn them alive. At the same time, he has denied that the Holocaust happened, while also mocking those who died in it as "burnt cookies."

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On Monday, West walked off of an interview with right-wing commentators when he got even the slightest pushback on his pro-Nazi ideology.

According to Graham, the decision to bring West and Fuentes to Mar-a-Lago was a costly distraction for Trump.

"He should be talking about America's problems and how to fix them and comparing his presidency to Bidens and issues that matter. And if he's not doing that, that's a bad day for him," said Graham.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) refused to answer questions on Monday from reporters about Trump's meeting with West and Fuentes, saying that he had better things to do than denounce Nazis or white supremacy. It prompted one of his former colleagues to question what exactly that was that he could do in the two seconds it would take him to convey their ideas were wrong or bad.

Raw Story gave him a second chance to respond to questions about whether Fuentes and West should be accepted by a prominent leader in his party. He refused to speak. Raw Story asked if that was a "no comment," but again, he refused to say a word.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that he doesn't know West, but it seems to him that the man has serious mental health issues.

"I hope somebody in his life will intervene," said Rubio. West has acknowledged that he is bipolar, but Nazism is not a recognized mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. "The other guy is just a flat-out, antisemite. I don't know how he got in there. Wish he hadn't had dinner with him. I know Trump's not an anti-Semite, so I have no idea how that guy got in there but they shouldn't have allowed him."

Sen. Ron Johnson, who narrowly won his 2022 reelection by just 1 percent, couldn't understand why reporters were asking Republicans that question and not Democrats. One reporter said that Democrats don't generally invite Nazis to dinner, but Johnson simply walked off.

Another Republican senator, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who isn't up for reelection until 2026, was happy to denounce the meeting.

Democrats, by contrast, were happy to talk about Donald Trump breaking bread with the extremists.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is Jewish, told Raw Story that the meet-up was "disgraceful." When we asked whether the Republicans should weed out those pieces of their party, Sanders said simply that it's something for them to answer.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who was also raised in a Jewish family, told Raw Story that the meeting with Trump was "abhorrent."

He took it a bit further, however, and discussed the impact of such extremists meeting with a former and possibly future president. "It's a sign of an increasing threat. It's beyond abhorrent."