Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) isn't apologizing for retweeting a prominent far-right British activist who has described himself as a "Nazi sympathizer.”
King told CNN on Tuesday that retweeting a message from Mark Collett, the former chairman of the youth division of the British National Party (BNP) and well-known far-right activist, was “unintentional,” but wouldn’t say he was sorry for sharing the tweet.
“I had never heard his name before, and I don’t know why anybody would ever know his name, for that matter,” King said. “I think it’s really unjust for anyone to assign the beliefs of someone else because there’s a message there among all of that. I mean, it’s the message, not the messenger.”
“It’s unjust to simply put a politically correct bridle on someone and say, ‘You’ve got to do a background check on everybody that ever tweets something out before you can ever agree with a single sentence that they might put out,'” King continued. “I didn’t even know it was his message. I thought it was a Breitbart message.”
The original tweet King shared from Collett was a screenshot of an article from Breitbart with the caption "65% of Italians under the age of 35 now oppose mass immigration."
“Europe is waking up...Will America...in time?” King wrote in a quote tweet of Collett earlier this month.
The Republican lawmaker also stood by his previous controversial claims this week that the United States is a “Judeo-Christian country” and that immigrants shouldn’t “create enclaves in America that are the antithesis of Americanism.”