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 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) 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 TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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 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.) 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.