A Colorado man was arrested after allegedly throwing a class of water at Rep. Steve King who was dining at an Iowa restaurant.
King was reportedly eating with a group at the Mineral City Mill and Grill in Fort Dodge on Friday when a 26-year-old man, identified as Blake Gibbins, approached the table and threw the water, hitting the lawmaker and others at the table, The Hill reported.
The Fort Dodge Police Department reported that around 12:30 pm, police were called to the restaurant where “they discovered the intended victim, Rep. Steve King, was having a group lunch when an unknown male approached their table.”
Gibbins, of Lafayette, Colo., was arrested and charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of disorderly conduct, all misdemeanors.
Though a motive was not reported for the incident, it comes amid criticism of the Iowa Republican for comments he made during a town hall on Thursday about the Federal Emergency Management Agency and victims of 2005 Hurricane Katrina.
“Here’s what FEMA tells me: We go to a place like New Orleans and everybody’s looking around saying, ‘Who’s gonna help me?’” King said in a video posted to his Facebook page.
”We go to a place like Iowa, and we go, we go see, knock on the door at, say, I’ll make up a name, John’s place, and say, ‘John, you got water in your basement, we can write you a check, we can help you.’ And John will say, ‘Well, wait a minute, let me get my boots. It’s Joe that needs help. Let’s go down to his place and help him.’”
King added that FEMA is “always gratified when they come and see Iowans take care of each other, and so that’s a point of pride that spreads across the country everywhere that I know.”
FEMA spokeswoman Lizzie Litzow called King’s comments “inaccurate” in a tweet on Friday.
.@SteveKingIA’s recent comments about @FEMA comparing recovery efforts are inaccurate. All disasters are unique and our mission remains true that we are here to help all people before, during, and after disasters.
— Lizzie Litzow (@FEMAspox) March 22, 2019
Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat whose district includes New Orleans called King a “white supremacist” for making the comments.
My heart goes out to all Iowans. Though it unsettles me that @SteveKingIA would dare compare them to the countless victims of Katrina, many of whom lost their lives. When people show you who they are, believe them. Steve King is a white supremacist and I won’t stand for it.
— Rep Cedric Richmond (@RepRichmond) March 22, 2019
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise also called out King’s comments as “absurd and offensive.”
“His comments about Katrina victims are absurd and offensive, and are a complete contradiction to the strength and resilience the people of New Orleans demonstrated to the entire nation in the wake of the total devastation they experienced,” the Louisiana Republican said in a statement to CNN.
Louisiana’s Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards also condemned King’s comments as “disgusting and disheartening.”
These comments are disgusting and disheartening. When communities are affected by disasters, we come together to help each other, not tear each other down. https://t.co/APpg8a82hW
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) March 21, 2019
King was stripped of his committee assignments in January after questioning in a New York Times interview how “white supremacist” became an offensive term. King defended himself against the attacks, saying his remarks were taken out of context.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 16, 2019
While King was disciplined for his comments in the interview, Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar continues to serve on her committee assignments, including the Foreign Affairs Committee, despite her many controversial and anti-Semitic remarks.
King was also facing criticism for a Facebook post showing a meme of how red states would “win” a fight against blue states.
Rep. Steve King posts meme warning that red states have “8 trillion bullets” in event of civil war https://t.co/PF7OD1T3OG
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 19, 2019
“Wonder who would win…” King captioned the post, which he later removed from his Facebook page.