Corey Stewart, the projected Republican nominee for US Senate in Virginia, repeatedly accused Democrats of using "the race card" to distract from President Donald Trump's success.
CNN's projection on Tuesday night showed Stewart winning his primary, positioning him to face off against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November for the seat, despite having built his public image on championing Confederate symbols.
On CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" on Wednesday, Stewart repeatedly accused host Chris Cuomo and Democrats of "playing the race card."
Cuomo inquired about Stewart's past support for far-right commentator Paul Nehlen.
Stewart replied: "I have always condemned ... any white supremacists or bigots or anything like that. We want nothing to do with that. But that's the only thing that you and the left have. You claim, you play the race card every time."
CNN previously reported that Stewart had paid Nehlen $759 as a "fundraising commission" in May 2017, according to a campaign finance filing from the following month with the Virginia Department of Elections.
Stewart's payment to Nehlen, made to his company the "Paul Nehlan (sic) Group" in the June 2017 filings, came before Nehlen began openly making anti-Semitic statements but well after he had begun making anti-Muslim comments and promoting fringe conspiracy theories, according to a previously reported CNN K-File review of his Nehlen's now-archived Twitter feed.
The Washington Post reported that Stewart said his 2017 support for Nehlen was "before he went nuts and started spewing a bunch of stupid stuff."