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Tuberville backs Trump’s ‘poisoning the blood’ rhetoric

‘I’m mad he wasn’t even tougher than that,’ Alabama Republican says

Tommy Tuberville’s comments Tuesday aren’t the first time the former Auburn football coach has made headlines during his time as a senator.
Tommy Tuberville’s comments Tuesday aren’t the first time the former Auburn football coach has made headlines during his time as a senator. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday said he was disappointed that former President Donald Trump did not go further in recent remarks that immigrants were “poisoning the blood” of the United States — a stance that even members of his own party likely consider extreme.

“I’m mad he wasn’t even tougher than that. Because if you see what’s happening at the border, we are being overrun. They’re taking us over,” Tuberville said to reporters after being asked for his reaction to the former president’s remarks.

Trump made the comment at a rally in Durham, N.H., over the weekend, as senators in Washington negotiated border security measures and immigration policies as part of a broader, $110.5 billion national security supplemental package.

Those negotiations are ongoing, and have tied up pending aid to Ukraine, also part of the package, that Biden administration officials say is urgently needed to continue Kyiv’s defense against the ongoing Russian invasion.

Republicans have tied the fate of Ukraine funding to those border discussions in a bid to stem the illegal flow of migrants through the southern border — though the original funding package did include some border security provisions.

But Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., acknowledged Tuesday that reaching a bipartisan deal on immigration policies would not come together in time for a vote this week.

Tuberville’s comments are not the first time the former Auburn football coach has made headlines during his time as a senator.

In July, Tuberville told reporters that white nationalists “are racists,” after several weeks of back-and-forth that followed a May radio interview in which, when asked if white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Tuberville said, “Well, they call them that. I call them Americans.”

He later said his comments were misinterpreted and he meant to say that Democrats paint all Trump supporters as white nationalists. Still, it took the senator two months to clearly state that white nationalists are indeed racist.

And, more recently, Tuberville ended a monthslong saga of holding up the promotions of hundreds of top-ranking military officers in protest of a Pentagon policy on abortion.

A handful of top-level promotions are still being held up by Tuberville, a matter that Schumer said he intends to dispense with before the Senate adjourns for the holiday recess.

Briana Reilly contributed to this report.

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