Iowa Republican Representative Steve King lost his committee seats today after making controversial comments last week. A long time ally of President Trump, King lost the respect of many of his peers during a bizarre statement about white supremacy. His fall of grace comes after many years of service for Trump, playing a major role in the 2016 campaign. When asked his response on the controversy surrounding King, Trump said simply that he had no comment, according to Fox News.
In an interview with the New York Times last week, the 69-year-old republican representative discussed how the usage of particular terms regarding race have changed throughout his life.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the paper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
While he hurried to clarify what he meant during a public statement on Monday, it was already too late. Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois harshly condemned King’s words and asked for him to be censured.
“Anything less [than censure] would be a slap on the wrist,” Rush told reporters. “Steve King’s continual, serial, expression of hard, rabid racism must come to a screeching halt. This Congress must rise up and express its sentiment.”
House Republican leaders move to strip Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments over comments about white nationalism https://t.co/e729HtcYEI
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 15, 2019
Several other Republicans also expressed their disapproval of the controversial statements, emphasizing the importance of realizing what is publicly offensive when in such a high-profile line of work. What might have been deemed politically correct in the past, simply isn’t anymore.
Senator Mitt Romney felt that King should be censured if not completely replaced.
“I think it’s very clear that the party leadership is unified that Steve King is out of bounds and that he should no longer be serving in Congress,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Trump has been surprisingly silent regarding the controversy surrounding his once go-to man. When asked for his response to King’s comments, the president claimed he hadn’t been following the story and didn’t know what was going on.
“I don’t — I haven’t been following it. I really haven’t been following it,” was all he told reporters who approached him on the White House lawn.
This isn’t the first time remarks from King have caused a media firestorm. Back in 2013, he made controversial comments regarding immigrants that many found to be offensive.
“They’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he said of migrants.