Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is urging the IRS to investigate the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which he slammed as a "political hate group."

The Alabama-based nonprofit has been mired in scandal in recent weeks, with its founder and president stepping down amid allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

That's not the SPLC's only problem, as Cotton (R-Ark.) wants to probe the organization's tax-exempt status.

On "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday, Cotton noted that the SPLC has accrued more than $500 million in assets, with a quarter of that "parked in overseas accounts."

"I don't know many charitable advisers that say it's best practice to send your endowment to overseas accounts in the Caribbean. That's one reason why Charity Watch gives them an 'F' rating," he said.

Cotton said the SPLC may have been founded to oppose injustice and racial inequality, but they essentially become a "hate group" themselves, one that profits from stigmatizing their political opponents.

"Funding lawsuits -- to include left-wing lawsuits -- in what you think is the public interest is a tax-exempt purpose," he said. "Serial, repeated defamation against your political opponents is not a tax-exempt purpose."

He also accused the SPLC of "misusing funds," noting that co-founder and CEO Morris Dees -- who recently stepped down -- had been receiving a $400,000 yearly salary.

"That's why the IRS needs to look at their tax-exempt status," Cotton said. "It needs an audit very badly. I hope the IRS will do that as part of their investigation and unveil to the American people that Southern Poverty Law Center has become nothing but a racket that's designed solely to slander and defame its political opponents."

Watch the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" interview above.

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