By Safvan Allahverdi
U.S. Republican Steve King was stripped of all committee posts late Monday over racist comments.
House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said King was removed from his committee assignments following an interview with The New York Times.
The Times quoted King asking: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?”
After House Republicans voted to strip King of his posts, McCarthy told reporters: “We will not be seating Steve King on any committee in the 116th Congress.”
King, a representative from Iowa, was a member of the House Judiciary and Agriculture committees.
King denied the accusations, however, and said his remarks were misunderstood.
“Leader McCarthy’s decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truths,” he said.
The New York Times interview was not the first time King has sparked outrage over his remarks.
In 2017, he stood by his comments in support of a far-right Dutch politician notorious for his Islamophobic views.
King tweeted that Geert Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”
He also infamously said in July 2013 that while some children who were brought to this country illegally are now highly successful students, for each of them, "there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert”.
At the time, King similarly refused to back down from the incendiary statement.