Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) slammed former President Trump’s “awful lack of judgment” for his meeting with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist who has previously espoused antisemitic and racist rhetoric.
Trump had dinner with Fuentes, a livestreamer who has previously denied the Holocaust, and the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, on Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Fla.
“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,” Christie told The New York Times.
Ye stirred controversy recently after his Twitter and Instagram accounts were suspended over a series of antisemitic comments he made online. The rapper also made antisemitic comments during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
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Following the backlash, several companies, including Adidas, cut business ties with him.
Christie’s comments come after Trump became the first major GOP candidate to announce his candidacy for president last week. The former president has received some of the blame for the party’s lackluster performance in the 2022 midterm elections.
Several Trump-backed candidates in high-profile races lost to their Democratic opponents. A number of the candidates Trump endorsed defeated primary opponents who were seen as more competitive candidates but were less loyal to the former president.
And amid the finger-pointing, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has gained traction as a viable 2024 GOP presidential nominee. Polls since the midterms have shown Trump’s support somewhat declining compared to that of DeSantis, who has been rumored to be considering his own 2024 bid.
Polling previously indicated that DeSantis had the most support among Republican alternatives to Trump in a 2024 primary, but the former president led by much larger margins than he has recently.
Christie and several other major party leaders have called for the GOP to move on from Trump.
Christie told the Times that hosting Fuentes and Ye was a matter of getting attention.
“He can’t stand not having attention all the time,” he said. “And so, having someone show up at his club — even if you believe that he didn’t know who Nick Fuentes was — and want to sit with him, feeds the hunger he feels for the attention he’s missing since he left the presidency.”
Trump said in a Truth Social post after the meeting that Ye had asked to meet but that he did not know Fuentes. He said Ye “expressed” no antisemitism during the meeting.