Racist Congressman Steve King plans to run for reelection in 2020, despite being removed from his committee positions after making comments about white supremacy, according to the Des Moines Register.
On a Thursday taping of the Iowa Public Television (IPTV) program Iowa Press, King was asked whether he was sorry for any of his comments.
“I have nothing to apologize for,” he replied.
On the program, King doubled down on his stance that he’s being unfairly targeted and has done nothing wrong.
“Don’t let the elitists in this country, the power brokers in this country, tell you who’s going to represent you in the United States Congress,” he told his constituents on the program.
In January, King, who has long been an open racist, stirred up controversy in Congress with comments he made to the New York Times.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he said in the interview.
The comments led to backlash. King was condemned by many colleagues and ultimately removed from his committee positions.
But King’s quote about white supremacy was hardly the first indication of his racism. The Representative once wrote on Twitter that the U.S. “can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies.” He has also endorsed a white nationalist for Toronto mayor and given an interview to a far-right, anti-Semitic European publication days after visiting Auschwitz.
On IPTV, King seemed to deny the accuracy of his quote by the Times, saying it was a “misquote” and that he was talking about “Western civilization,” not white supremacy. The term “Western civilization” is itself a well-known dog whistle often used by white supremacists to obfuscate their reprehensible views.
“If you would just hold these publications to what is true, there is no story whatsoever,” King complained. “There’s no part of me that believes in anything that’s advocated by folks that identify themselves as white nationalists or white supremacy.”
New York Times Politics Editor Patrick Healy defended their reporting.
“[Reporter] Trip Gabriel typed detailed notes during the interview and we are absolutely confident that we quoted Mr. King accurately, fairly and in the proper context,” Healy told the Register. “I’d point out that for more than 24 hours after the article was published, Mr. King did not dispute he had made the comment.”
When asked how he could be an effective Congressman without committee seats, King responded that under Democratic leadership, a lack of committee seats doesn’t matter.
“If there’s ever going to be a time not to have committee assignments, this time with Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House is the time,” he told IPTV.
King also addressed the small Confederate flag that he had on his desk in 2016. King said he put the flag there “briefly” to show his support for free speech. He added that his ancestors were abolitionists and that he supported the Union.
“I understand all of this,” King said. “Abraham Lincoln—his life was all about saving the Union. I’m about the Union. I’m about the Constitution. I’m about the Bill of Rights.”
Last month, Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra announced he would challenge King in the 2020 primary, saying that King’s “caustic nature” means that Iowa’s 4th District “doesn’t have a voice in Washington.”
“We don’t need any more sideshows or distractions, we need to start winning for Iowa’s families,” Feenstra said in his announcement.