Questioned Saturday about his long history of fraternizing with European groups criticized for their links to neo-Nazis, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) responded with a remarkable self-own.
King cited Austria’s Freedom Party—an extremely anti-immigrant, populist political party founded in 1956 by a former SS officer—to argue to the Washington Post that it was more fair to refer to these groups as “far right.”
“If they were in America pushing the platform that they push, they would be Republicans,” King told the Post.
The Freedom Party is currently led by Heinz-Christian Strache, who was active in neo-Nazi circles as a youth and who claimed to have met with former national security adviser Michael Flynn at Trump Tower in winter 2016. Other members of the party shared photos online that they said were taken at Trump Tower on election night, where they celebrated Trump’s victory.
In February, a high-ranking official from the party resigned after revelations that a fraternity that he used to lead distributed a songbook that joked about killing Jews.
The Post caught up with King after 11 people were murdered at a Pittsburgh
synagogue on Saturday by a man who allegedly screamed “all Jews need to die” before opening fire.
The tragedy brought new attention to King’s record of espousing anti-immigrant views, retweeting neo-Nazis, and, most recently, endorsing a white nationalist candidate for mayor of Toronto.