U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is not walking away from the firestorm he lit earlier this week when he declared white nationalists are simply “Americans.” Now, doubling down, the former college football coach has announced a white nationalist is simply a “Trump Republican.”
Tuberville, already under fire for holding up 184 U.S. Armed Forces promotions or appointments, has been promoting white nationalism by claiming he’s just trying to help the military meet its recruiting goals.
NBC News’ Julie Tsirkin asked Senator Tuberville, “Do you want to clarify your comments?”
“The Democrats characterize all MAGA Republicans in the military as white nationalists,” Tuberville incorrectly told her. “Wrong. Okay, we can’t get politics in the military. This has nothing to do with extremists and all that this, you know, my first day here was January 6 had several senators stand up on the Senate floor saying to me we got too many white nationalists, I mean, what the heck is that?”
“We all got different beliefs. You know, I’m a church Christ, Catholics, we got different people. And we all have to make one military. We can’t start distinguishing different types of people. Okay. That’s all I say.”
That was not all he had to say.
Here’s the rest of the transcript Tsirkin posted:
TSIRKIN: But sir, there are folks with white nationalist beliefs unfortunately in this country, do you believe they should be serving in the military?
TUBERVILLE: We got to define that first. What is a white nationalist?
TSIRKIN: A white nationalist propagates Nazism, a white nationalist could be someone who doesn’t believe that Black and Brown people are equals…
TUBERVILLE: A white nationalist is a nazi?
TSIRKIN: Well that could be one of their beliefs – a white supremacist…
TUBERVILLE: I don’t look at it like that.
TSIRKIN: How do you look at it?
TUBERVILLE: I look at a white nationalist as a as a Trump Republican. That’s what we’re called all the time. A MAGA person and that’s what –
TSIRKIN: Do you agree with that characterization?
TUBERVILLE: We agree that we should not be characterizing Trump supporters as white nationalists.
TSIRKIN: So what you’re saying is Democrats are painting Trump supporters as white nationalists but that’s not what they are?
TUBERVILLE: Every day. Every day on the floor. The first day after I got here on January 6, that night, and that’s not right. Let’s not get into politics and calling people names. The military is about somebody that is fighting for the security of all of us. I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Baptist, it doesn’t make any difference. We’re all in this together. And so they’re politicizing the military so much. It is ruining our military. Look at look at our our recruiting. We’re getting hammered 15,000 down last year in army this year, one of the branches of military our at quota at this point are recruiting what they want to recruit. Something’s going wrong in our military. So I’ve seen where different leaders have said stuff about me and about our military. They need to worry about building the military. Don’t worry about me and building a military that’s that that protects all of us and our allies. That’s what I’m about.
Late last week Alabama Public Radio station WBHM reported Tubverville had been attacking Democrats, saying in an interview, “Democrats are attacking our military, saying we need to get out the white extremists or white nationalists, people that don’t believe in our agenda.”
When asked, “Do you believe they should allow white nationalists in the military?” Tuberville replied that Democrats “call them that. I call them Americans.”
The sports website Deadspin Friday looked at Tuberville’s coaching career, and compared it to his role as a U.S. Senator.
“Tommy Tuberville’s claim to fame as a football coach was derived from his silver-tongued salesmanship when it came time to recruit African-American teens, in their homes, and in front of their parents or coaches to his program,” Deadspin’s DJ Dunson wrote. “He peaked at Auburn in the early-to-mid 2000s and then bounced right when Nick Saban’s reign began at Alabama.”
“Tuberville tried to depict himself in a positive light, but the clues were always there that he was a scumbag. Tuberville bounced between jobs after leaving Auburn in 2008 and when he couldn’t cut it in college football anymore, he transitioned to a sector where he could showcase his disdain for Americans while also displaying his stunning lack of intellect — the United States Senate.”
This week MSNBC’s Chris Hayes explained why Sen. Tubverville’s remarks, whitewashing the violence out of white nationalism, is so dangerous.
Tuberville on white nationalists in the military: ‘I call them Americans’ www.youtube.com