Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has slammed former President Donald Trump for “empowering the extremes” after Trump held a dinner in his Mar-a-Lago estate attended by white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
Hutchinson, a Republican, is only one of the latest political figures to condemn Trump for having dinner with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who has recently been criticized for making antisemitic comments online, and Fuentes, who is a known Holocaust denier.
This controversy has overshadowed Trump’s 2024 presidential announcement.
In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Hutchinson, who has previously prosecuted white supremacist groups during his time as the state’s attorney, has said that it was “not a good idea” to have political leaders meeting with individuals known for their racist and antisemitic remarks.
He added that this is something that should never take place, as these extremes should not be empowered in the political world. In contrast, he said that what one should do is try to “diminish their strength” and if possible keep away from them.
Trump has defended his actions saying that he was never intending to have dinner with Fuentes. Instead, he said that the dinner was only meant to be attended by Ye who showed up with three other individuals, one of which was Fuentes. Trump has maintained that he had not known this would happen prior to the dinner taking place.
According to Trump’s post on Truth Social, of the three people who came uninvited, he did not know the two and the third was a political person that he had not “seen in years”.
Hutchinson however said that how the meeting came to be was not important and instead Trump should be doing more to dissuade white supremacists.