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House calls out Steve King in vote to condemn white nationalism

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/15/2019 Al Weaver
a man wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for a closed-door interview with Peter Strzok, the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti-Trump text messages, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for a closed-door interview with Peter Strzok, the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti-Trump text messages, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

The House on Tuesday passed a resolution that calls out Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for comments that many say showed support for white nationalism and white supremacy.

The resolution of disapproval, introduced by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, R-S.C., noted King's recent comments to The New York Times that many called racist, and was passed with broad support, including a "yes" vote from King himself.

The resolution noted King's comment to the Times as an example of racist commentary, but ended with a broad statement that didn't target King directly, and instead rejected all forms of hateful expression.

"[T]he House of Representatives once again rejects White nationalism and White supremacy a hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States," the resolution concluded.

King was quoted in the Times as saying, "‘White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?"

King spoke on the floor shortly before the vote to say he would vote for the resolution, and that he agrees with everything in it. But he also accused Times of not interpreting his remarks correctly. King has argued that he was only talking about "Western civilization" when he asked, "how did that language become offensive."

He also noted that there is no tape of his 56-minute conversation with the Times, and thus no way for him to show he was misinterpreted. "There's no way to go back and listen," he said.

"I understand how you interpreted my words when you read them this way," he added. "There is no tape for this interview that I did. That ideology never shows up in my head. I don't know how it could possible come out of my mouth."

Still, he said he supports the resolution and its intent, and said he agrees with everything in the resolution.

"I understand and recognize the gravity of this issue that's before us," King said. "I thought you all knew me well."

"I regret that we are in this place," King said. "But the New York Times has a different version of this. They make a habit of attacking the president, as a matter of fact."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced Monday night that King would not be seated on any committees in the 116th Congress, including a seat on the Judiciary and a likely ranking member position he was in line for on the subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

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