Trump congratulates Steve King challenger on GOP primary win

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE offered congratulations to state Sen. Randy Feenstra after he defeated embattled Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingPence to visit Iowa to headline event for congressman Former Steve King challenger on rural voters in GOP states: 'They hate Democrats' First Democrat announces Senate bid against Iowa's Grassley MORE in the Republican primary for Iowa's 4th Congressional District on Tuesday.

“Congratulations to Randy Feenstra on your big win in the Iowa Republican Primary. You will be a great Congressman!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning.


King, who served in Congress for 18 years, has a history of incendiary comments on race and immigration and alienated much of the Republican Party.

House GOP leaders moved to strip King of his committee assignments in early 2019 after comments he made to The New York Times defending the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) urged King to “find another line of work” in the wake of the remarks.

Feenstra was declared the winner of Tuesday's GOP primary with 46 percent of the vote compared to King’s 36 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

“I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support over the past 17 months that made tonight possible and I thank Congressman King for his decades of public service," Feenstra said in a statement.

"As we turn to the General Election, I will remain focused on my plans to deliver results for the families, farmers and communities of Iowa," he continued. "But first, we must make sure this seat doesn’t land in the hands of [House Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE and her liberal allies in Congress.”

In a video message, King blamed his defeat on “an effort to push out the strongest voice for full-spectrum constitutional, Christian conservatism” in Congress. He also said he warned Feenstra of “some powerful elements in the swamp that he’s going to have an awfully hard time pushing back against” during a concession call.