Senator Clarifies Alleged Ties To White Nationalist Group

Guest host Celeste Headlee and editor Ammad Omar crack open the listener mailbox for backtalk.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now it's time for Backtalk, that's the time when we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is with us today. What is going on?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Celeste, we have a little clarification. In our political chat last week, we talked about a staff shakeup for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The co-chair of her reelection committee resigned over connections to the Council of Conservative Citizens. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls that a white nationalist group.

HEADLEE: The CCC.

OMAR: Right, but one of our guests said on air, that a lot of politicians have ties to the CCC, including Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.

HEADLEE: Senator Wicker once attended a campaign event with the CCC, this is while he was a congressman.

OMAR: That's right, but we got an email from the senator's office saying quote, this event was on a Saturday during the campaign of 2000. It was one of several functions my wife and I attended that day. My visit was very brief. The senator goes on to say, at no time before, during, or after my short stay there did I see or hear any racial or anti-Semitic comments. I certainly do not condone the actions or statements of anyone who espouses the views that this organization has posted on its website. He says, I regret if my appearance before the group lent credibility to its activities and to the attitudes and beliefs that have been attributed to this organization. He says, that's just not who I am. It is not what I'm about, unquote.

HEADLEE: Okay, thanks for that, Ammad.

OMAR: Thank you, Celeste

HEADLEE: And remember, at TELL ME MORE, the conversation never really ends. You can tell us more. Visit us online at NPR.org/TellMeMore. Remember, leave us your name. We're also on Twitter, just look for @TellMeMoreNPR.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: