Tommy Tuberville Tells Kaitlan Collins It’s Just ‘Some People’s Opinion’ That White Nationalists Are Racist (Video)

Alabama senator also claims “most white people” in the military are white nationalists while speaking on CNN

Kaitlan Collins Tommy Tuberville

On the first episode of her new CNN primetime show “The Source,” Kaitlan Collins tried hard to give Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville a chance to walk back statements he made recently that sure sounded like he was defending the racist ideology known as white nationalism.

Instead, while he repeatedly said he rejects racism, he also repeatedly (and incorrectly) insisted that white nationalism is not racist, that saying otherwise is merely “some people’s opinion,” and that “most white people” in the military actually are white nationalists. OK then!

The context here is that in May, the hard right Republican appeared on a radio show where, among other things, he elaborated on his opposition to efforts by Democrats to keep extremists out of the military, and refused to condemn white nationalists.

The term refers to the political ideology that promotes the political enshrinement of segregation and white supremacy, originally coined to describe South Africa’s apartheid government. But after his comments were criticized, Tuberville claimed that he merely meant that in his view, the term was used to smear people with conservative beliefs. He also disavowed racism in tepid terms, and continued to defend white nationalists, who he insisted are just patriots.

On “The Source,” Collins brought this up in relation to the other reason Tuberville is in the news these days — he’s been using the U.S. Senate’s maddening procedural roadblocks to single-handedly block all military promotions in an attempt to force the military to adopt strict anti-abortion polices.

“Just to be clear, you agree that white nationalists should not be serving in the US military. Is that what you’re saying?” Collins asked him when the topic was broached.

“If people think that a white nationalist is a racist. I agree with that, I agree they shouldn’t,” Tuberville replied.

“A white nationalist is someone who believes that the white race is superior to other races,” Collins said.

“Well, that’s some people’s opinion,: Tuberville insisted.

Asked Collins: “What’s your opinion?”

“My opinions of a white nationalist, if somebody wants to call them white nationalist, is to me ‘an American,” Tuberville said. “Now, if that white nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything they want to do, because I am 110% against racism. But I want somebody that’s in our military, that’s strong belief in this country, that’s an American, that will fight alongside anybody, whether with a man or woman, black or white, red. It doesn’t make any difference. And so I’m totally against identity politics. I think it’s ruining this country. And I think that Democrats ought to be ashamed for how they’re doing this, because it’s divided this country and it’s making this country weaker every day.

“That’s not identity politics,” Collins replied. “You said a So White Nationalist in American politics and white nationalist is an American-“

“It is an American,” Tuberville interjected.

“But a white nationalist is someone who, who believes horrific things. Do you really think that’s someone who should be serving in the military?” Collins countered.

“Well, that’s just the name that it’s been given,” Tuberville said.

“It’s not, there’s a real a definition, there’s real concerns about extremism,” Collins said.

“So if you’re gonna do away with most white people in this country out of the military, we got a huge problems,” Tuberville said.

“It’s not white people, it’s white nationalists,” Collins responded.

“That have a few probably different beliefs, that have different beliefs,” Tuberville said. “Now, if racism is one of those beliefs, I’m totally against. I’m totally against racism.”

“But a white nationalist is racist, senator,” Collins said.

“Well, that’s your opinion. That’s your opinion. But if it’s racism, if it’s racism, I’m totally against any type of racism, any type of racism. I don’t care what it is,” Tuberville added.