Steve King has fiery exchange at Iowa town hall

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset MORE (R-Iowa) had a fiery exchange Thursday at an Iowa town hall with an attendee who asked whether he was a white nationalist.

King also took umbrage at the questioner for drawing a link between King's rhetoric and the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.  


“The terrorist who committed this crime, he was quoted as saying, ‘they bring invaders in that kill our people, I can’t sit back and watch our people get slaughtered.’ You, Steve King, have been quoted as saying, ‘we can’t restore our civilization with other people’s babies.’ You and the shooter both share an ideology that is fundamentally anti-immigration,” the attendee, a young man wearing a plaid shirt, said before King cut him off. 


“Do not associate me with that shooter," a visibly angry King said, pointing his finger at the questioner.

"I knew you were an ambusher when you walked in the room, but there is no basis for that and you get no question and you get no answer … You crossed the line. It is not tolerable to accuse me to be associated with a guy that shot 11 people in Pittsburgh,” King said.

The young man asking the question then said: "But do you identify as a white nationalist?” 

“Stop it. You’re done,” King responded. He then requested that security remove the attendee.

It was not clear if the man asking the questions was connected to any political group. 

King's reelection race has tightened as he deals with new controversies surrounding his endorsement of a white nationalist candidate in Canada and revelations of his meetings with representatives of the far-right Austria Freedom Party.

King defended that meeting during the town hall, downplaying the party's historical ties to the Nazi Party by saying that anyone in politics in the 1950s inevitably had Nazi associations. 

He later tweeted about the incident.

Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversNational Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership Republicans to introduce House version of Scott police reform bill MORE (R-Ohio), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, blasted King earlier this week, tweeting, “Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.” 

A number of companies, including tech giant Intel Corp. and dairy company Land O'Lakes, have announced in recent days that they will no longer contribute to King's campaign.

One poll released Tuesday showing King ahead of his Democratic opponent by just 1 point. The Cook Political Report also shifted the race from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican” in a district President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE won by 27 points in 2016.