Kemp slams Trump’s ‘un-American’ white supremacist dinner guest; Walker is silent

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Gov. Brian Kemp criticized former President Donald Trump for his dinner with Nick Fuentes, whose unabashed racism and antisemitism has made him the nation’s most prominent white nationalist figure. Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, meanwhile, declined comment through an aide.

Kemp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that he’s proud of the relationship he’s forged with the Jewish community and Israel. He added: “Racism, antisemitism and denial of the Holocaust have no place in the Republican Party and are completely un-American.”

Fuentes joined Trump at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last week along with Kanye West, who also has a history of antisemitic statements. Trump has said he didn’t know Fuentes, who was part of a group that he said “unexpectedly” showed up to dinner with West.

The 24-year-old Fuentes has been labeled a “white supremacist” by federal prosecutors for views that include demands that Jews leave the country and calls for military intervention in majority-Black neighborhoods.

His annual white-supremacist America First Political Action Conference has drawn far-right Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who appeared at a February event where attendees cheered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and chanted Vladimir Putin’s name.

Fuentes also joined protests outside the state Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion in 2020 promoting Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud.

Walker, who faces a Dec. 6 runoff against Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, has avoided criticizing Trump as he tries to rally conservatives. Trump endorsed Walker before he entered the race, and Walker supports his newly launched 2024 bid.

The governor, by contrast, has a more tortured history with Trump. The former president blamed him for his 2020 defeat and recruited ex-U.S. Sen. David Perdue to run against him. Kemp defeated the Trump-backed candidate by 52 points in May. After his reelection win, some view him as a potential 2024 contender.

While Walker declined comment through an aide, other state Republicans also condemned Fuentes.

Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement that “racism and antisemitism should not be tolerated in America, and Republicans should not affiliate with those who promote these harmful ideologies.”

Incoming Lt. Gov. Burt Jones said he has no idea who Fuentes is but “there is absolutely no place for antisemitism of any kind and it must be strongly condemned.”

Georgia GOP chair David Shafer dodged a question about Trump’s dinner meeting with the white supremacist, saying he didn’t know enough to comment.

“I’m opposed to white nationalism,” Shafer said after a Walker rally in Cumming. “I’m opposed to racism. I’m opposed to antisemitism.”

Democrats, meanwhile, unified behind their criticism of Trump for hosting Fuentes at his club. U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, the state’s first Jewish U.S. senator, told the AJC it was “disgusting.”

“Every single Republican office-holder in our state should condemn the association of the former GOP president with white supremacist, neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers,” said Ossoff.