During a speech from the House floor on Friday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) attempted to clarify what he meant when he was quoted in The New York Times asking when “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization” language became “offensive.”
Stumbling through an explanation, King claimed the quote was taken out of context of the broader conversation he said he was having when he made the “freshman mistake” of taking a call from a Times reporter.
“That’s off this article and that’s the substance of this heartburn that seems to be churning across the media and America today,” he said after reading his direct quote in the Times. “So I look at that and I think, ‘Well, what was that conversation?’ It was about how those words got plugged into our dialogue, not when the words became offensive, which is what the technical interpretation is, how did that language become offensive. It’s how did that offensive language get injected into our political dialogue? Who does that? How does it get done? How do they get by with laying labels like this on people?”
King’s second public statement on the intentions of his quote comes as several of King’s Republican colleagues — like Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — speak out against the congressman’s racist comments, which were on par with other anti-immigrant and white-supremacist-tinged remarks he’s made in the past.
King claims NYT quote was taken out of context pic.twitter.com/xMdqsqadED
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 11, 2019