Sen. Mike Lee told GOP Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence that Republicans must reject the views of white supremacists as “deplorable.”
Twice this week Pence was asked about David Duke, the former leader of the KKK who is an unabashed supporter of Donald Trump. In both instances, Pence refused to call Duke’s views “deplorable,” but did say he did not want Duke’s support.
Politico reports Lee told Pence during a private meeting that the Trump campaign should reject the alt-right movement, which harbors white nationalist philosophies.
“Lee emphasized that Republicans must identify David Duke’s racism as deplorable, acknowledging that he ordinarily uses terms like ‘deplorable’ to describe messages, ideas, actions, and organizations, but not people,” Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Lee, said Tuesday.
The Utah senator also pushed the Trump campaign to be “explicit” in denouncing the so-called alt-right movement, Carroll added. The Lee-Pence powwow is one of a handful of private meetings that Pence has scheduled during his whirlwind through Washington on Tuesday; he also huddled with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a former Trump rival who has also declined to endorse the GOP nominee, on Tuesday, according to one Hill Republican aide familiar with the gathering.