NEW YORK (AP) — donald trump Bet he can earn his way back to the White House by reviving the outsider appeal that fueled his success in 2016.
but his Dinner with Holocaust Denying White Nationalists and Rappers Spreading Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories The risks of this approach are being demonstrated.It underscores the dangers of his limited campaign and exposes the former president to Sharp criticism from fellow Republicans They increasingly see him as a burden to their party after a lackluster performance in this year’s midterm elections.
confirming seriousness of backlash To prevent a repeat of the same mistakes, the Trump campaign is working on new protocols to ensure that those it meets with are approved and thoroughly vetted, according to people familiar with the matter. The changes would include speeding up a system borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official would be present with him at all times, according to one of the people.
The decision came after people close to Trump expressed anger and pain over how the former president became embroiled in the scandal two weeks later. launched his third campaign for the White House Under the cloud of numerous investigations. That underscored their concerns about Trump’s vulnerability, as Republican strategists and officials increasingly view new leadership as the party’s best hope for victory in future elections.
“Republicans, we’re looking to 2024 and we’re looking for a winner,” said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who blasted Trump’s dinner as “absolutely reprehensible.”
“I think it makes him a little bit more elusive in the November 2024 election,” he said.
Trump has repeatedly said he didn’t know this until after a dinner with far-right activist Nick Fuentes, who used his online platform to make anti-Semitic and white nationalist remarks . According to a person present and others with knowledge of the situation, Fuentes arrived in a car with former rapper Kanye West and was ushered into the club by security, although only Ye on the safe list. (Fuentes apparently did not show his ID, and the driver of the car, a regular at the club, used a credit card to get in the car after forgetting his driver’s license.)
Some aides advised Trump not to meet with Ye, who made anti-Semitic remarks of his own. But the two had a long-term relationship, and Trump rejected the suggestion. They were supposed to meet one-on-one in the club’s library, but Trump, eager to show off his celebrity guests to his paying club members, decided to move the group to the club’s main patio dining area. Fuentes attended the dinner at Ye’s invitation.
Trump is no stranger to controversy of his own creation. An endless cycle of anger fueled his 2016 campaign.Trump would make inflammatory statement calling on Muslims to become Prohibition of entrySaid John McCain was ” not a war hero ” because he was arrested in Vietnam, or asserted an Indiana-born federal judge” absolute conflict Because of his “Mexican heritage.” The comments would spark days of media coverage as critics responded with anger, putting Trump in the news.
But the political landscape is fundamentally different now. Trump is no longer a political outsider or newcomer. He is a member of the most elite circle, the Ex-Presidents Club, and a seasoned politician, now running for the presidency for the third time. After he dominated the news cycle for nearly eight years, many in his party and among his constituents are tired of the constant drama and confusion.
“It’s not a good thing if you have people who are constantly creating distractions, keeping you away from information and forcing people to answer questions that you ask,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
While Trump has advised aides that he wants to recapture the vibrancy of his first campaign, events at Mar-a-Lago exposed his staleness when he was an anti-establishment outsider battling a better-financed and better-organized rival. the limitations of the action, which Has not hosted any public events Since Trump’s announcement two weeks ago.
Trump’s team had planned to wait until the new year to start building a stronger, more structured campaign. But while there are no travel plans until the end of the year, aides are stepping up efforts to ensure that those who meet with him are screened and that the former president is staffed with a rotating set of campaign aides — something that wasn’t there before. Expected start to January.
After the dinner, several Republican senators said the person in charge of the meeting should be fired. Longtime allies not involved in the campaign questioned how Fuentes got into the club and why no one seemed to be aware of his presence or warn Trump not to meet with him.
Trump has so far refused to condemn the views of either visitor, despite growing condemnation from his partyincluding demanding an apology from his former vice president, Mike Pence.
in a Fox Digital News interview On Tuesday, Trump said again that he had “never heard of” Fuentes. “I don’t know what his points were, they weren’t expressed at the table at our very fast dinner, or they wouldn’t have been accepted,” he said.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that “there is no room for anti-Semitism or white supremacy in the Republican Party” and that “anyone meeting anyone, in my judgment, who promotes that are highly unlikely to be elected President of the United States.”
“The president can meet with whoever he wants,” added House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, “but I don’t think anyone should be meeting with Nick Fuentes, whose views are undeniable within the Republican Party and in the country itself.” can be found anywhere.”
Trump, who usually sees backtracking as a sign of weakness long history of failure to condemn Bigotry and hate speech, which some see as a fear of alienating some of his supporters, who are open to those views.
For example, under pressure to denounce former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who backed his 2016 campaign, Trump was heard assuring former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that “he’ll do it, but it doesn’t have to.” It happened so quickly,” recalls journalist Maggie Haberman in her book, “The Confident Man.” “A lot of those people voted,” Trump reportedly said.
“Mr. Trump is not going to change and there will inevitably be more of these disruptive events over the next two years,” The Wall Street Journal editorial staff wrote on Sunday. “Republicans who continue to walk with Mr. Trump are preparing for disaster in 2024.”
___ Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.