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 TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE’s top spokesperson on Wednesday condemned Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWhy the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy MSNBC's Donny Deutsch: 'Pathetic' Republicans who stormed closed hearing are 'boring, nerdy-looking white guys' Overnight Defense: Trump lifts sanctions on Turkey | 'Small number' of troops to remain by Syrian oil fields | Defense official's impeachment testimony delayed five hours after Republicans storm secure room 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 CheneyLawmakers call for extra security for anti-Erdoğan protesters  Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite 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 TlaibOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Sanders: Fighting anti-Semitism 'is very personal' 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.