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

White House's Sanders: King white supremacist comments 'abhorrent'
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President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE’s top spokesperson on Wednesday condemned Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingHouse votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees Pelosi on Gosar punishment: 'It's an emergency' GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing 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 CheneyThe GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims Two Fox News contributors quit over Tucker Carlson's Jan. 6 documentary 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 TlaibRestless progressives eye 2024 GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Tlaib 'fearful' as social spending plan heads to Senate 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.