Steve King slams GOP leaders for 'political decision' over comments on white supremacy

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThe Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates Steve King unveils 'Diamond and Silk Act' named for conservative YouTubers MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday denounced GOP leaders' move to remove him from all committee assignments, calling it a "political decision that ignores the truth."

“Leader McCarthy’s decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth," King said in a statement shortly after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters that the Iowa congressman would not receive any committee assignments in the new Congress. 

King was previously a member of the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees. He had also served as chairman of a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice in the last Congress.

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The decision to strip him of those assignments came just days after King questioned why terms such as "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" were offensive in an interview with The New York Times. 

"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in the interview, which was published last Thursday. 

The comments generated criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, with McCarthy saying over the weekend that action would be taken in response. 

King said that his comments have been "completely mischaracterized." 

"When I used the word ‘THAT’ it was in reference ONLY to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced," King said. "My record as a vocal advocate for Western Civilization is nearly as full as my record in defense of Freedom of Speech."

He added that he "ultimately" told McCarthy: "You have to do what you have to do and I will do what I have to do."

Two Democratic lawmakers on Monday introduced resolutions to formally censure King over his statements. House Democrats are expected to place on the floor for a vote on Tuesday a resolution to formally rebuke him that was introduced by Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.).