Gillibrand calls on Steve King to resign over comments about rape and incest

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandExpanding our health force can save lives and create jobs simultaneously Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.) called on Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingJD Scholten says he doesn't need DCCC to win Iowa seat The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Progressive Bowman ousts Engel in New York primary MORE (R-Iowa) to resign Wednesday after the embattled congressman questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for rape and incest throughout history. 

"You are a disgrace. Resign," Gillibrand, who is vying for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, said in a tweet.  

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package MORE's (D-N.J.) campaign issued a statement shortly after reports of King's remarks, echoing Gillibrand's call for King to resign.

"Every Iowa leader, regardless of party, should condemn Representative King’s comments, an exercise they should all be familiar with by now, and join us in asking for his resignation," Booker's campaign said in a statement.

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke calls Texas GOP 'a death cult' over coronavirus response Hegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump MORE (D-Texas), responded to King's comments by endorsing the Iowa congressman's potential Democratic challenger, J.D. Scholten.  

"My friend @JDScholten is standing up and fighting back against Steve King, and he needs all of our help — because no matter where you live, you know there’s no place for Steve King’s racism, bigotry, and hatred in Congress," O'Rourke tweeted.

King sparked controversy on Wednesday while defending anti-abortion legislation that did not have exceptions for rape and incest. 

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" King told a crowd at the Westside Conservative Club. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that."

The Catholic lawmaker argued that the bad circumstances of a baby’s conception does not negate their right to life.

King, a nine-term lawmaker who has a history of making controversial comments, was removed from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees earlier this year after questioning during an interview with The New York Times how terms such as "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" became "offensive."

Gillibrand called on King to resign in January during her first visit to Iowa as a potential presidential candidate, shortly after King's comments to the Times.