You get savaged by telling the truth and I told the truth here,” former CNN commentator tells Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Lindsey Ellefson

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Rick Santorum used his first television appearance after his ouster from CNN to defend his comments on Native Americans and decry what he sees as “cancel culture.”

“What I said was not at all disparaging towards Native Americans. What I was talking about is the founding of the United States of America and that Native Americans did not have a role in the founding of our country,” Santorum told Fox News’ Sean Hannity just two days after his CNN departure became news and caused his name to trend on Twitter. He called his ouster “disappointing.”

“One of the things I’m concerned about is you get savaged by telling the truth and I told the truth here,” said the former senior political commentator and Republican senator.

He also added, “The intolerance of the left is really the issue here and the cancel culture that is flowing from it.”

In April, Santorum gave a speech for Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group, in which he claimed there “isn’t much Native American culture in American culture” and said colonizers “birthed a nation from nothing.” A video clip of his speech went viral on social media, leading to public backlash against Santorum.

“We came here and created a blank slate. We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture,” the former senator and two-time presidential candidate said. “It was born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty.”

The pushback was immediate. IllumiNative, a nonprofit focused on challenging negative narratives about Native Americans, called on CNN to fire Santorum at the end of April. Even CNN’s Don Lemon had sharp criticism for colleague Chris Cuomo when Cuomo allowed Santorum on his show following the comments. During that appearance, Santorum did not apologize, which particularly irked Lemon.

Watch him defend the comments on “Hannity” below, via Fox News.

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