Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King asked how terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” became offensive in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday.
The comments came during a New York Times profile of King titled, “Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics.” (RELATED: Iowa State Senator To Challenge Steve King In Republican Primary)
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Ahead of the 2018 midterms, then National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Shivers condemned King’s comments as “completely inappropriate,” and the campaign arm pulled its support. King ended up squeaking out a three-point victory in the Republican stronghold, his lowest margin since he was first elected in 2002.
King is expected to face a tough primary from Republican Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra, who announced his intentions Wednesday to challenge King in Iowa’s fourth district, ripping the eight-term congressman for his “caustic nature.”