This CNN exchange is astonishing; Senator Tommy Tuberville insists "white nationalists" are just good ol' American citizens. When confronted with a prior statement that "white nationalists" should be allowed to serve in the military, the Senator from Alabama doubled down. Tuberville discussed his years as a football coach and repeatedly said he doesn't support racism, but he does support racists.
White nationalism is the preferred name white supremacists have given themselves but for Tuberville? That's just an opinion, man.
"The thing about being a 'white nationalist'—it's just a cover word for the Democrats now where they can use it to try to make people mad across the country. Identity politics: I'm totally against that," Tuberville complained.
Anchor Kaitlan Collins then sought clarification, asking him if he believes that white nationalists should be kept out of the armed forces.
But Tuberville couldn't give a clear answer.
"If people think a white nationalist is a racist, I would agree," he said.
When Collins responded by describing such a person as one "who believes that the white race is superior to other races," Tuberville blurted out: "Well, that's some people's opinion."
"My opinion of a white nationalist—if somebody wants to call them a white nationalist—to me, it is an American," Tuberville reiterated. "Now, if that white nationalist is a racist, I'm totally against anything that they want to do. Because I am 110 percent against racism."
Later in the interview, Tuberville seemed to suggest that he believes that white nationalists are simply white people.
"So, if you're going to do away with most white people in this country out of the military, we got huge problems," the senator said.
"It's not people who are white," Collins corrected. "It's white nationalists. You see the distinction, right?"
Tuberville went on to repeat his opposition to racism.