GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Trump's meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes was 'not accidental' and hopes 'someday we won't have to be responding' to the former president

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; former President Donald TrumpManuel Balce Ceneta, File/Associated Press; Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Trump said he didn't know white supremacist Nick Fuentes when Kanye West invited him to dinner.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Trump failed to condemn white supremacy and Holocaust denial.
Hutchinson, a frequent Trump critic, has said he is considering running for president in 2024.
Outgoing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson was among the first Republicans-elect to condemn former President Donald Trump for meeting white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week.
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In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Hutchinson, who has served two terms as Arkansas governor, was asked about Tuesday's meeting in Mar-a-Lago, which was also attended by rapper Kanye West.
"Well, I hope one day we don't have to respond to what President Trump has said or done. In this case, it's important to act on it," Hutchinson said, further confirming host Dana Bash's mention of his time as a US attorney prosecuting racist militia officers.
“The last time I met a white supremacist it was in an armed confrontation. I wore a bulletproof vest, we arrested her, followed her and sent her to jail. So no, I don't think it's a good idea for a leader who is setting an example for the country or the party to meet with a self-confessed racist or anti-Semite," Hutchinson continued, adding that leaders should avoid it to empower extremists.
Trump said he agreed to dinner with West, but the rapper unexpectedly brought several people, including Fuentes. Activist and podcaster Fuentes, 24, is known for sharing racist and anti-Semitic views, including Holocaust denial. He took part in the 2017 Unite the Right rally, where a neo-Nazi killed a counter-protester with his car, and was labeled a "white supremacist" by the Justice Department.
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In several Truth Social posts, Trump denied knowing who Fuentes was or anything about him, but has not condemned the views Fuentes holds.
“You can have casual meetings. Things like that happen,” Hutchinson said. "It wasn't an accidental meeting. It was a planned dinner with Kanye."
The governor also said leaders must be "absolutely clear" that white supremacy and Holocaust denial are unacceptable, adding that Trump's "non-conviction" represents the GOP's "extreme" minority.
Hutchinson, who was unable to run for re-election in 2022 due to term limits, has become a frequent critic of Trump, dismissing claims of voter fraud and blaming him for the Capitol riots. He also said in August he was considering running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Trump announced plans to run for office earlier this month.
Most Republicans-elect have not condemned Trump's meeting with Fuentes, but a few other potential hopefuls for 2024 have spoken out, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Asa Hutchinson
46th Governor of Arkansas
donald trump
45th President of the United States

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