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
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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday called for the House to censure Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Morning Report — Combative Trump aims at Pelosi before Russia report Steve King's campaign spent more than it raised last quarter It's time for a 'Congressional Jewish Caucus' 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 PelosiDOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Pelosi accuses Barr of 'single-minded effort' to protect Trump against Mueller report Dems attack Barr's credibility after report of White House briefings on Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyWatchdog: Custodial staff alleged sexual harassment in lawmakers' offices John Legend, Chrissy Teigen lash out at Trump at Dem retreat Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ MORE (R-Calif.).

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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 RushCongress should look into its own taxes and travel, not just Trump's The Congressional Black Caucus: America stands to lose a lot under TrumpCare House Dem renews call for censuring Steve King MORE (D-Ill.) and Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanO'Rourke says he is willing to appear on Fox News Klobuchar to appear in Fox News town hall in May Tim Ryan: 'I'm concerned' about rise of socialism in Democratic Party 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."