Trump ‘needs better judgment in who he dines with,’ says GOP Rep. James Comer

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., on Sunday criticized Donald Trump for dining with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, during a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last week.

“Well, he certainly needs better judgment in who he dines with,” Comer said in an interviews on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “I know that he’s issued a statement. He said he didn’t know who those people were.”

Pressed on whether he condemns Trump’s actions, Comer said he would not take a meeting with “that person,” nor Ye.

“But that’s my opinion,” Comer said.

Former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home on Nov. 15, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.
Former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home on Nov. 15, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

After news broke of his dinner with Ye and Fuentes, Trump’s 2024 campaign went into damage control mode. Fuentes, a far-right activist and Holocaust denier, is reportedly helping Ye, who recently lost major endorsements deals for making antisemitic remarks, with his second presidential campaign, according to a person familiar with the dinner conversation.

In a statement posted to his Truth Social platform, the former president claimed that Ye “unexpectedly” showed up to Mar-a-Lago with “three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about” — in reference to Fuentes, former Trump 2016 campaign director Karen Giorno and another man who was a Ye associate, sources familiar with the dinner told NBC News.

Trump, who described the dinner held on the back patio as “quick and uneventful,” is facing backlash for dining with Ye and Fuentes.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the dinner is “very troubling, and it shouldn’t happen.”

“We need to avoid those kinds of empowering the extremes,” Hutchinson said. “And when you meet with people, you empower. And that’s what you have to avoid. You want to diminish their strength, not empower them. Stay away from them.”

Hutchinson added that Trump did not have an “accidental meeting” with Ye: “You have got to be absolutely clear in your communication that this is not acceptable dogma, it’s not acceptable conversation, it’s not acceptable history, and you have to disavow it.”

The dinner grew heated after Ye — who announced another run for president in 2024 on Thursday — asked Trump to be his running mate, the sources said. 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was once a Trump ally, was among a handful of Republicans who jabbed Trump for hosting Fuentes.

Christie said in an interview with the New York Times, “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.”

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