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Rep. Steve King doubles down on Trump charges

Iowa Rep. Steve King (R), a Ted Cruz supporter, is doubling down on charges that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump used his reosurces to win endorsements from conservatives.

King, the co-chairman of Cruz's presidential campaign, originally made the comments to Politico ahead of the Iowa caucuses, stating that Trump had been able to line up endorsements from conservatives because he was able to make offers that were "awfully hard to refuse."

King said Trump had "unlimited resources" and did not limit it to money, saying Trump could also offer fame or the "mystique" of the Trump machine.

"One of them is money, but it may not be,” King told Politico. “It might be fame, it might be the mystique of the Trump machine, it might be people are afraid of retribution and it might be people that are looking for opportunities down the line. And it might be any combination of those things and others that I haven’t said. That explains most of what you’ve seen come behind Donald Trump in one way or another.”

Asked if he had evidence that Trump had bought endorsements in an interview with The Hill’s Molly K. Hooper, King said he had facts that backed up his allegations but did not want to release them.

"I am confident that what I gave that day was an accurate analysis of the tools Trump has and what he’s willing to use to get what he wants," he said. "It’s all over the place. I have facts that I can point to, but if I put those out — I declined to put out the facts that support the general description that I gave because I don’t want to blow up this body politic."

King said he was not offered anything for an endorsement.

"I’m a member of the United States Congress, and if anyone were to offer me such a thing I’d have to think about whether the offer itself is legal. I know accepting it is not," he added.

In a statement to The Hill, Trump called King "a lowlife Congressman who is laughed at by almost everyone in D.C. and beyond. When he asked me for campaign financing, help and endorsements I never heard him make those statements. He is just another dishonest and disloyal politician."

Watch the video above to hear King discuss the charges, the blowback from his allegations and his interactions with Trump surrogate Sarah Palin.

--This report was updated at 5:48 p.m.

 

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