White House's Sanders: King white supremacist comments 'abhorrent'

White House's Sanders: King white supremacist comments 'abhorrent'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE’s top spokesperson on Wednesday condemned Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Steve King spins GOP punishment into political weapon Steve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote MORE’s (R-Iowa) remarks questioning why terms like white supremacy are offensive.

“Steve King’s comments were abhorrent,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters outside the West Wing.

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Sanders did not comment directly on Trump’s views on the remarks, but she used top Republican responses to criticize the Democrats handling of controversial remarks made by one of their own new members.

“The Republican leadership, unlike Democrats, have actually taken action when their members have said outrageous and inappropriate things,” Sanders said.

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning white nationalism in response to King’s comments, but it did not directly rebuke the Iowa lawmaker, who has a long history of making racially charged statements.

A number of Republicans, including House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Liz Cheney calls for House vote on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Liz Cheney mocks Booker over factory farming comments: 'I support PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals' MORE (Wyo.), have called on King to resign.

King has repeatedly argued that his comments to The New York Times were misconstrued.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” King said in an interview published last week.

Some in the GOP have used the King incident to pressure Democrats over their handling of comments made by Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDem lawmaker inspires social media users to share selfies in their glasses Tlaib condemns bar crawl event in Detroit as 'racist bulls---' Furor over Omar puts spotlight on AIPAC MORE (D-Mich.), who profanely called for Trump to be impeached and tweeted that people supporting legislation designed to counter boycotts of Israel “forgot what country they represent.”

Many Jewish groups and others criticized the remarks as anti-Semitic. Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, later said her tweet was meant to criticize people “seeking to strip Americans of their Constitutional right to free speech” and not to accuse Jews of having dual loyalties.

Trump came under fire in the past for his response to a 2017 white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va., where a counterprotester was killed. The president afterward said there were good people on “both sides” of the protest.