Last week, the conservative-leaning Weekly Standard‘s journalist Adam Rubenstein visited Iowa to report on Republican Steve King’s re-election bid.
“Did Steve King Just Refer to Immigrants as ‘Dirt?” reads the headline of one of Rubenstein’s pieces, in which he alleges that the Republican used derogatory, racist language to describe Mexican immigrants.
Unhappy with the reporting, King lashed out at the Weekly Standard via Twitter, urging the publication to “release the full tape.”
“Leftists lies exist without original sources because they are false and manufactured accusations. Weekly Standard is transitioning into ‘Antifa News,'” King wrote.
The publication’s editor-in-chief Stephen F. Hayes writes that King first claimed that Rubenstein lied, then claimed that the Weekly Standard didn’t have a recording of him using racist language, and lastly insisted that the publication is refusing to release the audio.
Today, the Weekly Standard released the full tape.
As the Hill – which has also transcribed King’s remarks – notes, the Iowa congressman can clearly be heard referring to Mexican immigrants as “dirt,” and saying that he is “going to have to go get some dirt from Mexico to grow the next batch [of jalapeño peppers.]”
A female supporter of King’s can also be heard discussing peppers King had apparently grown in his garden, and remarking that dirt from Mexico and other South American countries is “on its way.”
“Well, yeah, there’s plenty of dirt. And it’s coming from the west coast, too,” Steve King can be heard saying on the released audio recording, “and a lot of other places, besides.”
“This is the most dirt we’ve ever seen,” is how the Iowa Republican concluded the conversation.
But, as the Hill and the Weekly Standard note, at that point in the conversation, Steve King seems to have realized that a reporter may have been listening.
This apparently prompted King to change the subject and start discussing an unrelated matter.
Given that King seems to have realized that the Weekly Standard‘s reporter is present, his subsequent tweets aimed at the publication do not come as a surprise.
Furthermore, given Steve King’s reputation, racist remarks do not come as a surprise either, since multiple outlets have described King as a white supremacist.
According to CNBC, the National Republican Congressional Committee distanced itself from the congressman, refusing to fund him or help him get elected in any way and citing his “words and actions” as the reason for the refusal.
Over the years, CNBC notes, King has made a number of racist remarks and supported white supremacist organizations and far-right causes.