Steve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments

Steve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWith 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 Author sues NY Times after it calls him a 'white nationalist' MORE (R-Iowa) sent a fundraising email to supporters asking for help in defending him from The New York Times and the “rabid leftist media” after he questioned in an interview with the newspaper why terms such as “white supremacist” were offensive.

“The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican 'NeverTrumpers' and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me," King wrote in a campaign email obtained by the Des Moines Register on Thursday.

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King accused the Times and “rabid left media” of coming after him because of his support of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE and his hard-line views on immigration.

The fundraising attempt comes after King received fierce backlash following an interview with the Times in which he questioned how terms such as "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" became offensive in the U.S.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in an interview published last week. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King later said that he made a “freshman mistake” agreeing to the interview and claimed his quote was taken out of context.

"I regret the heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district," King said in a House floor speech condemning white supremacy.

"I've never been anti-immigrant. I have been anti-illegal immigrant, and I remain that way," King said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCalifornia sues Trump administration over fracking Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (R-Calif.) later removed King from all of his committee assignments following the backlash.

The Des Moines Register and the largest newspaper in King's Iowa district have both called on the nine-term lawmaker to resign.