Carlson made this claim on his Tuesday show, saying that white supremacy is “right up there with Russia” in terms of problems the United States faces and is “actually not a real problem in America” at all. To back up this argument, Carlson said that every person who is a member of a white supremacist organization in the country could fit inside a single college football stadium. Of course, as CNN’s Brian Stelter points out, this neglects the fact that “men like the suspect in El Paso aren’t ‘members’ of an ‘organization.'”
“This is a hoax,” Carlson claimed. “Just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power. That’s exactly what’s going on.”
Carlson’s comments immediately drew backlash, with CNN’s Don Lemon playing the clip on his show shortly after, taking a long pause and then asking his guest, “Was that not the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard”? Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg also hit back against Carlson and hoped his argument isn’t picked up by President Trump ahead of his El Paso visit. Goldberg wrote, “If Trump apes these talking points, it’ll be awful for the country and devastating for Trump’s presidency.” Trump on Wednesday morning tweeted a different quote from Carlson’s show, suggesting he saw the white supremacy segment.