First House Dem calls for Scalise to resign from GOP leadership

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) wants House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Scalise ‘resting comfortably’ after follow-up surgery from shooting Scalise to undergo another surgery after shooting MORE (R-La.) to resign from leadership after he admitted speaking to a white supremacist group in 2002.

The freshman New York lawmaker is the first Democratic representative to call for Scalise’s resignation from leadership outright.

“It is beyond offensive that a member of House leadership would knowingly court such a hate group, and it is doubly insulting that Congressman Scalise asserts that he didn't know who David Duke was or the hate promoted by that group,” Maloney said in an emailed statement.

“Speaker Boehner should demand Congressman Scalise resign his leadership post immediately.”

Scalise said Tuesday that he regretted speaking to the group, founded by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, but emphasized that he was unaware of the group’s message. On top of racism and anti-Semitism, Duke has expressed opposition to a bill that would make discrimination against gays illegal and bashed the decision to allow gays into the military.  

“Families like mine, children like mine, have no place in David Duke's racist vision for America,” Maloney added in his statement.

Democratic groups including the Louisiana Democratic Party, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee all released harsh statements condemning Scalise for associating with the group. But none of those groups asked for Scalise to step aside, and neither has House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The day after the story broke, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) both issued statements backing the third-ranking Republican in the House. Boehner said that Scalise has his “full confidence” as whip and “will continue to do great and important work for Americans.”