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 TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE’s top spokesperson on Wednesday condemned Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingBiden called Booker to ease tensions after remarks about working with segregationists: report Key endorsements: A who's who in early states The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates 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 CheneyWashington braces for Trump's next move on Iran Former GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis files to run for Wyoming Senate seat GOP hopes dim on reclaiming House 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 TlaibGOP hopes dim on reclaiming House Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Democrats take aim at Trump policies by passing T spending package 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.