U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) is fighting back against criticism suggesting that he supports “white nationalists” in this military.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville appears to defend white nationalists in a recent interview by suggesting they should not be barred from serving in the military. https://t.co/HEwkhMEpio
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 11, 2023
The controversy comes from an interview Tuberville did with WBHM radio Monday, when he responded to the question “Do you believe they should allow white nationalists in the military?”
“Well, they call them that. I call them Americans,” Tuberville said. “What happened after January the sixth — and I was here on January the sixth — we were attacked on the Senate floor. Saying all these people that came into the Capitol were extremists, they were against the country.
“There was a lot of people. There were probably a hundred of them that came in, broke windows and broke doors that should have been locked up. That’s not how we do it in America.”
Tuberville’s office put out a statement clarifying his remarks about the military, reiterating that he was not supporting white supremacists in the military, but believes Biden is wrongly calling all Trump supporters white supremacists.
“Senator Tuberville’s quote that is cited shows that he was being skeptical of the notion that there are white nationalists in the military, not that he believes they should be in the military,” Tuberville’s spokesperson said. “He believes the men and women in uniform are patriots. Secretary Austin seems to think otherwise, subjecting them to extremism training as his very first act in office. That cost us four million man hours. Furthermore, the Senator resents the implication that the people in our military are anything but patriots and heroes.”
The senator has been making this point for months, including during a Senate Armed Service Subcommittee hearing on the issue in September 2022.
“This administration doesn’t inspire our youth about America,” he said. “It paints our service members as extremists, white supremacists, but are surprised that only 9% of young people even want to serve. That’s a small, small pool.”
This hasn’t stopped some Democratic lawmakers from misrepresenting Tuberville’s comments.
Disgusting. When people tell you who they are, believe them. https://t.co/snTkhCpQyi
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) May 10, 2023
Tuberville also is continuing to hold up roughly 184 military promotions over the U.S. Defense Department funding abortions for service members.