Iowa Rep. Steve King is back in the headlines on the anniversary of a mind-boggling New York Times interview where he wondered aloud what was so bad about the term “white nationalist.”
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he said at the time, in comments that would earn him a rebuke from the right’s head honcho Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and cost him his placements on two congressional committees.
In rambling remarks from the House floor Friday, King insisted the term had been “weaponized” by the left to “attack” conservative politicians like himself.
“It’s one of their weaponized terms because they wore out the word racist and they needed to make up some new terms to be offended by,” he ranted. “They’ve been calling people racist for 20 to 25 years, and they’ve watched as Republicans, especially Southern conservative Republicans, curl up away from that kind of accusation and it shuts them down.”
In his allotted 30 minutes of speaking time, King repeatedly referenced a graph showing an apparent spike in use of the term “white nationalist” following the 2016 presidential election.
“It jumped in 2016 to 10,000 times a year,” the congressman said, claiming the term had been”virtually unused” before then. “How’d it happen that a terminology that had been virtually unused all of a sudden became used multiple times ― up to 30,000 times a year? How did it happen that this is the word that gets tagged on me? Is that an accident, Mr. Speaker? I don’t think so.”
King would go on to decry the term as part of some sort of leftist conspiracy pushed by Democratic Jewish donor George Soros.
“The resistance movement was born in that hotel by Democrat leadership led by George Soros and no doubt funded by George Soros,” King, 70, mused, invoking an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about the Holocaust survivor.
“Out of that also came some words to be weaponized: white nationalist, white supremacist, Nazi, fascist,” he added.
This isn’t the first time the Republican rep had been loud and public with his racism. King has supported known “nationalists” and neo-Nazis in the past and once tweeted that “diversity is not our strength.” In 2016, the nine-term congressmen suggested there was no other race or ethnic group that had contributed more to civilization than whites.
“I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about,” he said in remarks at that year’s Republican National Convention. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
King’s efforts to convince folks that he’s far from racist have fallen flat, as he’s continued to spew racially offensive and anti-Semitic talking points. Online critics were especially unforgiving.
“Rep. Steve King is a filthy, disgusting, repulsive, hate-mongering, racist, white nationalist,” one Twitter user wrote.
“You know, if you don’t want to be called a racist and a white supremacist, stop saying and doing racist and white supremacist shit… it’s not that hard,” another chimed in.
One critic slammed the Iowa congressman for “crying a river of racist white tears” while still “making white supremacist statements that have resulted in him being censured by Congress.”
Watch more in the video below.