(NewsNation) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said former President Donald Trump should apologize for dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist who joined the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at Mar-a-Lago last week, but said he doesn’t believe the former president is antisemitic.
“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier, a seat at the table and I think he should apologize for it,” Pence told NewsNation’s Leland Vittert on Monday.
The backlash comes just days after Trump hosted Ye, as well as far-right activist Nick Fuentes, at his Florida home.
Pence called on his former boss to denounce the guest’s “hateful rhetoric without qualification” and said antisemitism remains “a very real issue in the world today.”
Despite the recent dinner, the former vice president said he doesn’t believe Trump holds his visitors’ hateful views.
“I don’t believe Donald Trump is an antisemite; I don’t believe he’s a racist or a bigot,” said Pence. “I would not have been his vice president if he was.”
In a series of statements last week, Trump said he had never met Fuentes before he “showed up” with Ye at his club. He said the rapper did not express antisemitism in his company.