Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday said she did not support white nationalism, a day after she sparked widespread outrage for claiming on her primetime show "the America we know and love doesn't exist anymore" because of "demographic changes."
Ingraham's statements Wednesday were quickly compared with arguments used by white supremacists to justify America as a homeland for white people only. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke described her monologue as "truthful" and "important" in a tweet that he later deleted, while others on social media used her comments to call for race-based immigration policies.
"In some parts of the country, the America we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people," she said during her Fox News program on Wednesday. "And they're changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like. From Virginia to California we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love."
After a day of criticism on social media, including from Democratic lawmakers, Ingraham addressed the comments on her show Thursday. The host said she rejected the white supremacists who had praised her.
"A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention," Ingraham said. "You do not have my support, you don’t represent my views, and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear."
She added that her earlier statements were meant to focus on the rule of law and public safety.
"I made explicitly clear that my commentary had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but rather a shared goal of keeping America safe, and her citizens safe and prosperous," Ingraham said. "Furthermore, as I have said repeatedly on this show, merit-based immigration does wonders for our country’s economy, our way of life and how we define our country."
But Ingraham did not elaborate on which "demographic changes" she believed were destroying America. In addition to ethnicity, demographics typically includes characteristics such as age, income, education, and gender.
A Fox News spokesperson did not elaborate and referred BuzzFeed News to Ingraham's comments on air.