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

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingNebraska Democratic Party Chair: Rural vote should be 'bedrock' of party With surge in anti-Semitism, political leaders need to be aggressive and reflective in response Steve King challenger: 2020 Democrats have 'huge' opportunity to win over rural America 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 CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax 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) RyanOffice of Technology Assessment: It's time for a second coming Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far GM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio MORE (D-Ohio) and Bobby RushBobby Lee RushSan Francisco mayor endorses Bloomberg Biden endorsed by four more members of Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid 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.