Republican Leaders Silent Full Day After Congressman Retweets Neo-Nazi

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. It may seem early, but the diehard activists who attended the three-day c... Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. It may seem early, but the diehard activists who attended the three-day conference are already picking favorites in what could be a crowded Republican presidential primary in 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) MORE LESS
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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) retweeted a neo-Nazi on Tuesday morning. He has faced no consequences for the tweet, and the leaders of his party have so far remained silent.

Mark Collett, whom King retweeted, isn’t quiet about his beliefs. According to HuffPost, he’s called himself a Nazi sympathizer, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and was the subject of the 2002 documentary “Young, Nazi and Proud.”

A year ago, he joined former KKK grand wizard David Duke for an hour-long discussion on, per Duke’s website, “the massive violence that continues to be inflicted on the world by the Jewish dominated left.”

Last month, Duke joined Collett for the 50th episode of a YouTube chat show Collett hosts, “This Week on the Alt Right.” Collett addressed Duke’s critics on the show: “Are they going to sacrifice everything to try and save their race, like David Duke has? Because that is the measure of a great man.” In 2016, according to a Daily Mail report, Collett campaigned for Brexit in the UK alongside his swastika-tattooed girlfriend, Eva Van Housen.

And yet the Republican Party maintained its silence Wednesday: TPM’s requests for comment to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee all went unanswered. None have commented publicly on King’s retweet. King’s office did not respond to TPM’s questions.

The amplification of a neo-Nazi is the latest in a years-long stream of similar actions from the Iowa congressman. In December, he tweeted “Diversity is not our strength” and attributed a quote to the right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban: “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.” Following President Donald Trump’s January State of the Union address, King told TPM “the Congressional Black Caucus took a knee nearly all night.”

In March of last year, King was able to garner a rare response from his Republican colleagues when he tweeted “[Anti-muslim Dutch politician Geert] Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

“I don’t think that statement reflects what is special about this country,” Speaker Ryan responded the following night in an interview with Fox News’ Brett Baier. He added, though: “I would like to think — and I haven’t spoke to Steve about this — I would like to think he misspoke, and it wasn’t meant the way it sounds, and I hope he’s clarified that.”

Nope: Hours earlier, King had stood by his comments in an interview with CNN.

Three days later, King told The Hill: “My colleagues have generally been coming by and patting me on the back. And a surprising number have said that they pray for me. And, meaning they support me and they agree with me, a surprising number.”

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Notable Replies

  1. With friends like this, who needs enemas?

  2. Avatar for pshah pshah says:

    Of course they’re silent. This is Trump’s party as last night showed and he approves this message. The rest of their leadership are feckless cowards as has been amply demonstrated. This sentiment is why we have little kids in basically jail, separated from their families.

  3. The Republican diversity and inclusion program especially includes those who are totally against either diversity or inclusiveness. And equity? That doesn’t even get a mention.

  4. Aren’t they at least “concerned” and “disappointed” by Steve?

  5. “Rep. Steve King (R-IA) retweeted a neo-Nazi on Tuesday morning. He has faced no consequences for the tweet, and the leaders of his party have so far remained silent.”

    So, is there anybody left who still wants to tsk, tsk, tsk TPM posts that compare the GOP to Nazis?

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