Republican Congressman Steve King Reportedly Claimed That Confederate Soldiers Died To End Slavery

Controversial Republican Rep. Steve King is taking heat again, this time after he reportedly claimed that Confederate soldiers died during the Civil War in an effort to end slavery.

King has come under fire for a number of comments widely condemned as racist, including several that appeared to promote white nationalism. This week, the Iowa representative held a town hall that was attended by just one person, who reported afterward that he made some controversial claims regarding slavery and reparations.

Iowa resident Jessica Birch was the only person to show up to King’s town hall held in Grundy Center, Iowa. She later recounted the town hall to the local political news site Iowa Starting Line, noting that she grilled King about his thoughts on offering reparations to African Americans in response to slavery and decades of discriminatory policies.

As the site noted, King pushed back against the idea and seemed to fudge historic numbers about soldiers killed during the Civil War.

“It’s kind of hard to hear the arguments for reparations these days and think about it in terms of some people gained a foundation of wealth prior to 1865 because they used slave labor,” said King, who at one point had a Confederate flag on his desk despite representing a state that entered the Union as a “free” state and outlawed slavery. “At the same time, 600,000, maybe 750,000 Americans died putting an end to it.”

King went on to say that there were no reparations for these lost lives, so there should not be reparations for “lost wages” through the institution of slavery, the report noted. As the left-leaning news site The Progressive noted, the congressman’s estimation of those dead in the Civil War would include both Union and Confederate soldiers.

This is not the first time that Steve King’s comments have come under scrutiny in recent days. As The Inquisitr reported, King also said he did not believe that anti-abortion laws should make exceptions for rape and incest, saying that these have been common throughout human history.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King said.

After Steve King came under fire from many on the left and right — including President Donald Trump, who remarked that it “certainly wasn’t a good statement” — the congressman said that he was a victim of the media.

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