Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) caught flak online Monday after he tried to blame Donald Trump's staff for allowing the former president to host a high-profile white supremacist for dinner.
Trump admitted over the weekend that he dined at Mar-a-Lago last week with far-right provocateur Nick Fuentes and Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. Trump claimed he had no idea who Fuentes was and that Ye brought him to his Florida estate as a guest.
"If the reports are true and the president didn't know who [Fuentes] was, whoever let him in the room should be fired," Tillis said, according to NBC senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur.
The dinner attracted heated backlash and condemnation from Democrats, civil rights groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and even from a number of Trump's Republican allies in Congress.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), for example, said, "There's no room in the Republican Party for white supremacists and antisemitism, so it's wrong." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called Ye "disturbed" and Fuentes "evil" and said that Trump should not have met with Fuentes because it legitimized the white supremacist.
Fuentes has vocally embraced racist and antisemitic views and was at the violent "Unite the Right" neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Ye's professional empire is in jeopardy after he made a series of disturbing antisemitic comments earlier this year.
According to sources cited by Axios and The New York Times, Trump praised Fuentes during the meeting and said, "He gets me."
Tillis' excuse didn't fly with Twitter users, though some agreed with him that the person responsible should be fired:
Pence: Trump Should Apologize For Giving White Nationalist 'A Seat At The Table'
Republicans Rip Trump's Dinner With 'Racist Antisemites'
White House Slams Trump's Dinner With Kanye West, Holocaust Denier Nick Fuentes