Republican leaders in the House of Representatives stripped Iowa Rep. Steve King from his committee assignments after he appeared to complain that people found white supremacy “offensive.”
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in an interview with The New York Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
The Times reported that the comments prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urge King to find “another line of work” and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney called on the longtime Trump ally to resign from Congress.
Democrats vowed to introduce multiple bills to censure King this week, prompting Republican leaders to take preemptive action.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that King would be removed from his committee assignments and did not rule out a censure or reprimand.
“This is not the first time we’ve heard these comments,” McCarthy told The Times. “That is not the party of Lincoln and it’s definitely not American.”
McCarthy was asked why he did not speak out when King made numerous past racist statements.
“Maybe I did not see those, but I disagree with these,” he said.
King was removed from the Judiciary, Agriculture, and Small Business committees.
King lashes out at GOP leader:
“Leader McCarthy’s decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth,” King told The New York Times.
King said he told McCarthy, “You have to do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do.” He vowed to continue to “point out the truth.”
Rebuke comes after years of racism:
“Mr. King, who has been an ally of President Trump on the border wall and other issues, has a long history of making racist remarks and insults about immigrants, but has not drawn rebukes from Republican leaders until recently,” The Times reported. “In November, top Iowa Republicans like Senator Charles E. Grassley endorsed Mr. King for re-election even after one House Republican official came out and denounced him as a white supremacist.”
Democrats ask what about Trump:
“I’m glad that they are finally taking action after all of these years of Steve King slandering immigrants and Hispanics, but the president of the United States is also doing that and he just said something about Elizabeth Warren a few evenings ago that was also racially ugly and we haven’t heard a word of condemnation from anyone in the Republican Party about that,” Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro told The Times.