King rips GOP leadership after criticism over 'white supremacist' remarks

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King says he can relate to suffering of Jesus The Hill's Morning Report — Combative Trump aims at Pelosi before Russia report Steve King's campaign spent more than it raised last quarter MORE (R-Iowa) panned House Republican leaders on Tuesday for their criticism over remarks he made in an interview with The New York Times last week regarding white supremacy.

“[House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy [R-Calif.] decided he’s going to believe The New York Times over Steve King, and that’s a fact,” King told conservative radio host Ed Martin on his show Tuesday.

King also went after House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRep. Cheney: Socialism 'driving the agenda of the Democratic Party' Dem lawmaker offers tool for 'filling in the blanks' of Green New Deal Judd Gregg: In praise of Mike Enzi MORE (R-Wyo.), saying she was wrong to call for his resignation in the wake of his comments.

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“And I will tell you, if there’s support out there for Liz Cheney after this, you can’t ever put her in the category of being a conservative again. She called for my resignation. She’s been here two years. What would give her the moral authority or the intellectual judgement to do something like that?” he said. 

King ignited a bipartisan firestorm after he asked the Times last week, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The Iowa Republican, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, has a history of making controversial comments. He has argued that his comments last week were taken out of context, though he has not accused the Times of misquoting him, he noted Tuesday.

House Republicans have removed King from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees. The House also overwhelmingly passed a resolution Tuesday condemning white nationalism and white supremacy by a 424-1 vote, with the lone dissenter saying it was not specific enough in its condemnation of King.   

McCarthy, who oversaw the removal of King from his committee posts, said, “There is no room for white supremacy,” while Cheney said King should “find another line of work.” 

Reps. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John Ryan2020 Dems rebuke Trump on Iran, say they'd put US back in nuclear deal Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college MORE (D-Ohio) and 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.) have both introduced resolutions to censure King for his remarks.

The Iowa Republican told Martin on Tuesday that he’s “at peace” with the comments.

“I am at peace with my soul with this and I am confident that what I have done has been true and right and just and honest,” he said. “I’m very comfortable standing before God and answering for all of this.” 

Though leaders in both parties and chambers of Congress have called on King to resign, the nine-term congressman suggested this week he has no intention of doing so. 

“I will continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4th District Iowans for at least the next two years,” King said Monday.