Anti-Defamation League calls on House leaders to censure Steve King over white supremacy comments

Anti-Defamation League calls on House leaders to censure Steve King over white supremacy comments
© Getty Images

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday called for the House to censure Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingDemocrats need someone in ‘the Ojeda lane’ Pence on push to remove Omar from committee: Steve King saw ‘consequences’ Pence to visit Auschwitz memorial during trip to Poland MORE (R-Iowa) and strip him of his ranking membership over his history of making anti-Semitic and offensive statements. 

"I write to raise up a request that you come together to censure Rep. King and strip from him his ranking membership," ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt wrote in a public letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Dem rep hopes Omar can be 'mentored,' remain on Foreign Affairs panel MORE (R-Calif.).

ADVERTISEMENT

Greenblatt notes in the letter that he made a similar request in October after King defended his association with a far-right Austrian group with links to the Nazi party and hard-line views on immigration. 

"Rep. King doubled down on this behavior by questioning why the terms white supremacist and white nationalist are offensive," Greenblatt wrote. "His protestations after the fact that he is not bigoted do not align with years and years of statements and actions on the part of the Congressman."

The letter goes on to include reasons why white nationalism and white supremacy are problematic. It also takes issue with some of King's past associations, including his support of a white nationalist Toronto mayoral candidate. 

"We strongly urge you to demonstrate your revulsion with Rep. King’s actions by working together to censure him and strip him of his subcommittee ranking membership and otherwise discipline him," Greenblatt concludes. "By doing so, you will make clear that his actions were deeply offensive, wrong, and that the U.S. House of Representatives will not tolerate anti-Semitism or bigotry in any form."

The letter comes days after King questioned why terms such as "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" were offensive in an interview with The New York Times. 

Democratic and Republican lawmakers quickly denounced the statement, with McCarthy saying on Sunday that "action will be taken."

Two House Democrats, Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushDem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King MORE (D-Ill.) and Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanTim Ryan ‘seriously considering’ 2020 bid Baseball legend Frank Robinson, first black manager in MLB, dies at 83 House Democrat warns ethics committee about Steve King promoting white nationalism website MORE (D-Ohio) introduced resolutions on Monday to censure King. 

King has faced scrutiny over his comments on subjects such as immigration in the past. He once tweeted that diversity is not America's strength

King has sought to defend himself in light of the backlash, saying in a statement last week that he rejected the "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" labels "and the evil ideology that they define."

He said that he considers himself "simply a nationalist."