Hutchinson says Trump failed to distance himself from ‘extreme’ side of GOP
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who is considering challenging former President Trump for the White House in 2024, said Sunday that Trump failed to distance himself from the “extreme” side of the GOP.
“So what Donald Trump did and his failure to condemn it is really the minority of the party. It’s an extreme side of it. And that’s what you have got to distance yourself from. And he failed to do that,” Hutchinson told CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana Bash.
Hutchinson is part of a number of top Republicans who are distancing themselves from the former president and speaking out against his 2024 bid. The Arkansas governor said those in the party who are flipping from being pro- to anti-Trump were doing “the right thing.”
Hutchinson knocked Trump for a recent dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
“Well, I mean, you could have accidental meetings. Things like that happen. This was not an accidental meeting. It was a set-up dinner with Kanye,” Hutchinson said.
“But you certainly have every occasion that the question of white supremacy or neo-Nazism, or denying the Holocaust comes up. 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. It is as simple as that,” he added.
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Ye, who has supported Trump in the past and mounted his own a presidential bid in 2020, said he asked Trump to be his running mate in 2024.
Trump said in a social media post that he had only been trying to help Ye, whom he called “a seriously troubled man.”
“I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went CRAZY!” Trump wrote. He didn’t name Fuentes or disavow his views in the post.
Fuentes has been called a white supremacist by the Justice Department for his racist and antisemitic rhetoric.