President TrumpDonald John TrumpLanny Davis: Trump views Cohen as ‘greatest threat to his presidency’ House Oversight chairman accuses Trump of making ‘a lot of money’ off presidency Trump references ‘Wounded Knee’ in tweet mocking Warren MORE said Monday he hasn’t kept up on the controversy surrounding Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingOcasio-Cortez rips GOP over Steve King’s white supremacy comments McCarthy to meet with Steve King about white supremacy remarks: ‘Action will be taken’ Cruz condemns King’s white supremacy remark: ‘It was stupid’ and ‘he needs to stop’ MORE‘s (R-Iowa) comments last week questioning why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive.
“I haven’t been following it. I really haven’t been following it,” Trump told reporters outside the White House as he departed for a trip to a farmers’ convention in New Orleans.
Pres. Trump says he hasn’t been following controversy over Steve King’s “white supremacy” comments, which have drawn increasing criticism from his Republican colleagues. https://t.co/4RIVART0Oy pic.twitter.com/8fmCmZvWvP
— ABC News (@ABC) January 14, 2019
In an interview with The New York Times published last week, King asked how language like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.
He later sought to distance himself from those comments, saying in a House floor speech that he’s not “anti-immigrant.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOcasio-Cortez rips GOP over Steve King’s white supremacy comments Republicans seek to temper fallout from latest Russia bombshells McCarthy to meet with Steve King about white supremacy remarks: ‘Action will be taken’ MORE (R-Calif.) said Sunday that he would meet with King on Monday to discuss the congressman’s remarks, and pledged “action will be taken.”
King’s comments, which prompted backlash from members of both parties, are the latest instance of the nine-term congressman courting controversy with racist remarks or association with far-right figures.
Last year, King backed a white nationalist mayoral candidate in Canada and met with Austria’s Freedom Party, a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer and whose leader was involved in neo-Nazi circles.
King tweeted in 2017 that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Trump has been friendly with King dating back to before his run for the presidency. Trump supported King’s re-election bid in 2014, appearing with the congressman at an event in Iowa.
At a campaign rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, last October, the president acknowledged King, telling the crowd “he may be the world’s most conservative human being.”