Trump mocks ‘loser’ Mitch McConnell after Republican leader reprimands him over Fuentes meeting

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Donald Trump ridiculed Republican colleague Mitch McConnell as “a loser for our nation” after the senate minority leader joined a chorus of Republicans reprimanding him for meeting with avowed antisemites Nick Fuentes and Kanye West.

“Mitch is a loser for our nation and for the Republican Party who would not have been re-elected in Kentucky without my endorsement, which he begged me for because he was going down,” Mr Trump told Fox News.

“His well-financed opponent had $93m ready to spend when I drove him from two points down to 21 points up in a matter of days,” boasted the one-time president.

Mr McConnell strongly denounced Mr Trump at a press conference on Tuesday for holding the well-publicised dinner meeting at his private residence.

“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States,” he said.

Deflecting criticism about the meeting with Mr Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago residence, Mr Trump again repeated his claim that he “had never heard of” the white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

“I had no idea what his views were, and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn’t have been accepted,” he said of the dinner that also counted the disgraced rapper West – who has changed his name to Ye – as a guest.

The controversial meeting has triggered strong reactions from several GOP leaders, while others have appeared to downplay it.

In the face of the backlash, Mr Trump also sought to describe his relationship with Israel and declare that he was the Israeli president’s “best friend”.

“Nobody has to prove or be defensive of me and Israel,” he said.

“They have acknowledged that I’m the best friend and president to Israel (sic),” he was quoted as saying by Fox News Digital.

When asked about what sparked the dinner meeting, Mr Trump said Ye “asked to see me for advice” and that he was experiencing “financial difficulties”.

The 45-year-old rapper’s antisemitic remarks led to the depletion of most of his $2bn fortune after he was dropped by Adidas, Balenciaga and Gap.

Fuentes who has espoused several racist conspiracy theories on his podcast has been identified as a white supremacist by the Anti-Defamation League and Justice Department.

He has been banned from most major social media platforms, including YouTube and Twitter, for inciting violence and breaching hate speech rules.

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