Iowa Congressman Steve King speaks out in a public event for the first time since his New York Times controversy.
Earlier this month, the New York Times quoted King as saying quote, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
King claimed his comments were taken out of context, saying in a House floor speech that he doesn’t believe in white supremacy.
Saturday, the congressman held a town hall meeting in Primghar in northwest Iowa.
In a packed room at the Primghar community building, the congressman defended what he said in the interview. He says his words were blown out of proportion.
“Yes he fed those terms to me and yes I responded to his question about them. But, when I said why did that language become offensive, I was speaking exclusively and directly about Western civilization,” King said.
Supporters of the congressman say he was wrongly attacked and that he has a lot to offer Iowa.
“I think his experiences, his knowledge of what’s going on can really help the people of Iowa. I think he wants wants what’s best for this state and this country,” Gaye Cammerer said.
Others wish King would focus more on issues affecting the state.
“He focuses so much on his pro-white, reverse racism message and pro-life that I think he forgets that he needs to advocate economically for Iowa. These small rural towns are dying,” Anne Slattery said.
In a press release, the congressman’s team said there would be no press availability before or after the event. However, they did say there was a possibility of some follow up sometime next week.