On May 16 2023 a Reddit account on r/WhitePeopleTwitter shared a Twitter screenshot which indicated that Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) stated that Americans shouldn’t “have elections any more” during an appearance on Newsmax:
The post was submitted as a screenshot of a tweet (cropped so that the date was not visible), which was titled “The GOP has gone full fascist right out in the open smh.” The tweet was attributed to Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC), and text above a Newsmax screen capture read:
Holy shit. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) just said Americans should demand the end to democracy. “The American people should just stand up and say enough is enough, let’s don’t have elections anymore.” (@therecount)
Google Trends data for May 16 and 17 2023 demonstrated strong search interest in Tuberville’s remarks. A search for “Tuberville” restricted to that 24-hour period indicated “Breakout” levels of search for the terms “Tuberville elections,” “Tommy Tuberville elections,” “Tommy Tuberville democracy,” “Tuberville end democracy,” and “Tommy Tuberville end democracy.”
Commenters on the Reddit thread also referenced then-recent remarks Tuberville made about white nationalism. In a WBHM article published on May 8 2023, Tuberville responded to interview questions, saying:
[WBHM:] You’ve established your concern, where Biden’s policies are. But the question was, how do you think these actions look to our adversaries?
[Sen. Tommy Tuberville:] Well, you know, I’m on the Armed Services Committee and I go through all these hearings and listen to all these generals, four-star, all their combatant commanders. And if we think this is a problem, with showing our adversaries we’re weak, all we got to do is go back and look at Joe Biden’s, what he’s done to our military with the woke ideas, with the CRT that we’re teaching in our military [* Note 2]. We are losing in the military so fast. Our readiness in terms of recruitment. And why? I’ll tell you why, because the Democrats are attacking our military, saying we need to get out the white extremists, the white nationalists, people that don’t believe in our agenda, as Joe Biden’s agenda [* Note 3]. They’re destroying it. This year, we will not reach any recruiting goals in the military. So, if we want to talk about—looking weak—that’s where we’re going to look weak. We cannot start putting rules in there for one type, one group and make different factions in the military, because that is the most important institution in the United States of America, and our allies, is a strong, hard-nosed, killing machine, which is called our military.
[WBHM:] You mentioned the Biden administration trying to prevent white nationalists from being in the military. Do you believe they should allow white nationalists in the military?
[Sen. Tommy Tuberville:] Well, they call them that. I call them Americans. 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. But there were hundreds of thousands that didn’t come in, outside, that were true Americans that believe in this country [* Note 4] …
In that excerpt, bracketed “[* Note …]” sections corresponded with short “fact checks” and clarifications that were later appended to the article, marking sections in which Tuberville said something false or misleading. On May 11 2023, The Guardian covered the controversy, adding:
A Tuberville spokesperson told the Washington Post the senator “resents the implication that the people in our military are anything but patriots and heroes”.
The same spokesperson told NBC Tuberville “has kind of a sarcastic sense of humor” and “was expressing doubt about this being a problem in the military”.
Reports have shown the US military has a problem with white nationalism and white supremacy, despite the Pentagon having prohibited “active participation” in extremist groups since 1996.
As for the tweet shared to Reddit, it was published on the same day. Although the screenshot was a still, Cohen’s tweet included actual video of Tuberville’s remarks:
Holy shit. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) just said Americans should demand the end to democracy. “The American people should just stand up and say enough is enough, let’s don’t have elections anymore.” (@therecount) pic.twitter.com/qUt6eo4vbM
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) May 16, 2023
In a brief attached video, it was initially unclear what Tuberville was addressing in saying “if people don’t go to jail for this …” Immediately thereafter, Tuberville’s “elections” remarks occurred:
… I can’t even talk about it, you know, it’s so bad. But if people don’t go to jail for this, the American people should just stand up and say, ‘Listen, enough’s enough, let’s don’t have elections anymore.'”
I wish there was a special investigation into the voter fraud because it was outrageous what happened, but nobody wanted to look into it because they were afraid they were gonna be called out. And so it is what it is, I hate that [this] happened.
(The voter fraud claims that Tuberville, who is a known disinformation purveyor, is referencing have been resoundingly debunked.) Cohen tagged another account, and clicking a link under the video led to a separate May 16 2023 tweet. It provided additional context about Tuberville’s initial remarks:
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) tries to sell the Durham FBI report about the Trump-Russia investigation as a smoking gun:
“If people don’t go to jail for this, the American people should just stand up and say, ‘Listen, enough’s enough. Let’s don’t have elections anymore.’” pic.twitter.com/D4Qrd1Iav1
— The Recount (@therecount) May 16, 2023
A viral May 16 2023 tweet indicated Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said “American people should … say ‘listen, enough’s enough, let’s don’t have elections anymore.” A popular Reddit post featured a screenshot of the tweet. On Twitter, Cohen added a video of Tuberville making the remarks.