Rep. Steve King came to his own defense at an Iowa town hall as he railed against Republicans for treating him like a “federal felon” and stripping him of all committee assignments.
The GOP lawmaker from Iowa spoke to voters at a Sioux Center event in which he gave a speech and participated in a Q-and-A session discussing topics like the current impeachment efforts against President Trump and his own past controversial statements.
King referred to himself as a constitutional Christian conservative, according to the Sioux Center News, and told those in attendance at the Sioux County Conservatives’ Pizza & Policy event that he was attacked over a “misquote” in the New York Times in comments about white supremacy, white nationalism and Western civilization.
Reminder that this was the quote from Steve King that @nytimes published in January: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
King claims he was misquoted. The Times has stood by its reporting. https://t.co/endaveOCbC
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) December 5, 2019
“Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of politics. Matter of fact, there are only four people who have served without their committees in all the history of the United States,” he said, noting that three of the Congressmen in U.S. history had been removed for crimes they committed.
As the fourth person in his example, King asserted that he was the exception as he had not committed any crime but was being punished for something that he didn’t actually say.
“I’ve been treated like a federal felon for a misquote in The New York Times,” the 70-year-old lawmaker said pointing to the attacks from his Republican primary challengers as akin to “joining the other team.”
“We have those people who are Never Trumpers and establishment people who pile onto this because they want to call the shots,” King said. “Well, if you give them a victory and them calling the shots, the left will be giddy for a generation and they’ll use this tactic over and over again.”
He called out the anti-Trump “Resistance” movement for drumming up Nazi analogies and condemned white nationalism and white supremacy as “odious ideologies,” noting that he is, instead, someone who supports Western civilization and its accompanying culture.
“It is a superior civilization. It exists everywhere where Judeo-Christianity laid the footprint for civilization, and out of it came free enterprise capitalism, the rule of law and we have the Bill of Rights,” King said.
The nine-term Iowa Republican defended himself and torched GOP leadership which removed him from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees earlier this year. King took to the House floor to defend himself following calls from his own party to censure him.
Despite losing his committee seats, King announced he would run for re-election and in his first public event following the New York Times interview uproar, the congressman received a standing ovation for his remarks. But King was under fire again for comments about rape and incest after introducing an anti-abortion bill this year, setting off another round of criticism from the left and members of his own party.
During the Iowa pizza town hall, King asked voters to voice their support by reaching out to contacting the state’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to reinstate his committee positions.
“If the governor came out and did a press conference tomorrow,” King said, “I think Kevin McCarthy would put me back on the committees the next day. I think she needs to hear from you.”
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