Steve King urges supporters to pray for his committee assignments to be restored: report

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill Overnight Energy — Presented by Job Creators Network — House Republican tries to force Green New Deal vote | 'Awkward' hearing to vet Interior nominee and watchdog | House panel approves bill to stop drilling in Arctic refuge Steve King: One 'good side' of climate change could be shrinking deserts MORE on Monday reportedly asked his supporters to pray for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRepublicans spend more than million at Trump properties The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi fires back in feud with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes MORE (R-Calif.) to restore the Iowa Republican's committee assignments.

King made the comments at a town hall in Rock Rapids, Iowa, according to the Sioux City Journal, weeks after he was stripped of all his committee assignments for questioning how the phrase "white supremacist" became offensive.

"Kevin McCarthy has been getting a lot of phone calls, and the more phone calls he gets and the more persistent that it is, the more he is gonna realize that it was a bad decision he made, based upon one comment misquoted in The New York Times, reported as fact," King said, the newspaper noted.

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King sparked criticism from both parties for a January interview with The New York Times in which he said: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The House also passed a resolution to formally reject white supremacy in a move meant to respond to King but not rebuke him directly.

Speaking to about 45 supporters at the town hall, King said Monday that the Times reporter “at best” misquoted him, according to the Journal, and issued a general criticism of negative media coverage of him.

“The language police are out there day after day after day after day,” he said. “They are searching the internet for something to be offended by."

King, who has a long history of controversial remarks on race and immigration, was previously a member of the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees, and was set to become the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

King on Monday also reportedly backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico after Congress declined to give him the funding he demanded for the wall.

"He was going to have to go that way if he was going to build the wall," King said of the president, according to the newspaper.