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

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingHateful words demand stronger response from Congress, President Trump Ex-Bush ethics chief calls for Steve King expulsion after he posted meme of potential civil war Steve King deletes Facebook post asking who would win new US civil war MORE on Monday reportedly asked his supporters to pray for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests 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 TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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.