Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranking House Republican, continued on Sunday her criticism of Iowa Rep. Steve King – calling her fellow Republican’s recent comments “abhorrent” and “racist.”
King, a nine-term congressman, has come under increasing fire following comments he made about white supremacy during an interview with the New York Times.
The Iowa lawmaker told the newspaper earlier this month that, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
Cheney and other House Republican leaders – along with the White House – moved quickly to condemn King’s comment, stripping him of his committee assignments. King slammed Cheney for the criticism, saying on “The Ed Martin Movement” radio show that her rebuke of him strips her of her conservative credentials.
On an appearance Sunday on “Meet The Press,” Cheney didn’t back down from her comments.
“I think I was pretty clear, and our entire House leadership was very clear last week,” she said. “His comments were abhorrent. They were racist. We, under the guidance of Leader McCarthy, stripped him of his committee assignments. And I think there’s simply no place for that language in any of our national discourse.”
While she did not say whether or not the House would officially censure King — the House on Tuesday approved a Democratic measure rebuking King – she did suggest that King seek a new job outside of politics.
“I think he ought to go find another line of work,” she said.
King’s remarks to the New York Times were not the first time he has seemingly expressed sympathy with white supremacists. In October, King publicly endorsed a white nationalist candidate for mayor in Toronto.
The candidate, Faith Goldy, has promoted books espousing anti-Semitic ideas and defending the white supremacist “14 words” slogan, according to the Toronto Star.
King also has drawn criticism for posts on Twitter, such as in 2017 when he wrote that “culture and demographics are our destiny” and said we “can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
In 2013, he commented that while he has some sympathy for some illegal immigrants, “they aren’t all valedictorians, they weren’t all brought in by their parents — for everyone who’s a valedictorian, 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.”
And in September, King came under renewed scrutiny after traveling to Austria and giving an interview in which he said, “If we don’t defend Western Civilization, then we will become subjugated by the people who are the enemies of faith, the enemies of justice.”
King has defended himself, saying that the ideology of white supremacy “never shows up in my head” and that he does “not know how it could possibly come out of my mouth.”
He has also said the decision to remove him from committees was “a political decision that ignores the truth.” He vowed to “continue to point out the truth and work with all the vigor that I have to represent 4th District Iowans for at least the next two years.”
Fox News Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.