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Sen. Tommy Tuberville Doubles-Down on Defending White Nationalists, Clashes with Kaitlan Collins Over Basic Definition of Term

Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama stumbled as he attempted to walk back his position that calling White nationalists racist was an “opinion,” has learned.

Tuberville’s facepalm moment occurred on Monday night during the debut of CNN’s The Source hosted by Kaitlan Collins.

Collins questioned Tuberville on a radio interview he gave back in May when he was asked whether or not White nationalists should be allowed to join the U.S. military. Tuberville appeared to defend White nationalists and answered, “Well, they call them that. I call them Americans.”

While Collins gave the red state senator an opportunity to reverse his comment, Tuberville didn’t help his case.

“Do you want to explain those comments, Senator?” Collins asked Tuberville, who appeared peeved that he had to rehash the issue.

“Yeah, first of all, I’m totally against any type of racism, OK?” Tuberville replied in a snarky tone. “I was a football coach for 40 years. And I dealt and had opportunity to be around more minorities than anybody up here on this Hill.”

“But just to be clear, you agree that White nationalists should not be serving in the U.S. military. Is that what you’re saying?” Collins pressed.

Despite the backlash, Tuberville refused to outright condemn White nationalism and continued to dance around the host’s question.

“If people think a White nationalist is a racist, I agree with that. I agree they should—,” Tuberville said before Collins interjected, “A White nationalist is someone who believes that the White race is superior to other races.”

“Well, that’s some people’s opinion. And I don’t think…” the senator replied as he continued to stumble over his words.

Collins reiterated that the definition was not an opinion before addressing the elephant in the room. “What is your opinion?” she asked.

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“My opinion of a White nationalist – if somebody wants to call them that – to me, is an American. It’s an American,” Tuberville boldly stated. “Now, if that White nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything that they want to do because I am 110% against racism.”

Tuberville added that he was “totally against identity politics” and didn’t think enlisted White nationalists would consider race when defending the country.

“You said a White nationalist is an American. But a White nationalist is someone who believes horrific things. Do you really think that’s someone who should be serving in the military?” Collins asked.

“Well, that’s just a name that it’s been given. I mean—,” Tuberville said before Collins interrupted, “It’s a real definition. There’s real concerns about extremism.”

Noticeably agitated at Collins, Tuberville fired back, “So if you’re gonna do away with most White people in this country out of the military, we got huge problems.”

“It’s not people who are White. It is White nationalists. You see the distinction, right?” Collins said.

“That have different beliefs,” Tuberville responded, still not understanding. “Now, if racism is one of those beliefs, I’m totally against it. I’m totally against racism.”

“But that is a White nationalist. A White nationalist is racist, Senator,” Collins reiterated.

“Well, that’s your opinion,” Tuberville answered before Collins ended the interview. “That’s your opinion.”

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