Ernst declines to ask for King to resign after 'babies' tweet
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstAir Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Gun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate Businesses, farmers brace for new phase in Trump trade war MORE (R-Iowa) said this week that she didn't condone Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' MORE's (R-Iowa) controversial comments on immigration, but she wouldn't call for his resignation, Politico reported.

At a town hall meeting in their home state on Friday, Ernst said she would not ask for King to step down, despite calls by many in the audience for her to do so, according to the report.

"I do not ask for [his resignation], I will not ask for that, I do not condone his language. But his voters will make that determination,” she said, according to Politico. “We don’t condone that language, we try to speak respectfully. We all need to act with a level of respect."

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King wrote on Twitter earlier this week that "we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies," apparently referring to immigrants. In that same tweet, the Iowa representative gave a nod to Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch politician known for his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.

King doubled down on his comments on a subsequent appearance on CNN, saying he wanted a more "homogenous" U.S. population. Since then, King has intermittently tweeted and commented about the need to increase the birth rate in the U.S. to "Make Western Civilization Great Again," according to one post.

The outspoken Iowa lawmaker claimed in an interview with The Hill that some of his colleagues were "patting me on the back" over his comments, which a handful of House Republicans condemned.