Europe is waking up...Will America...in time? https://t.co/GqZ3E1lCyh— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 12, 2018
Earlier this month, racist Iowa Rep. Steve King, who is known for his explicit endorsement of white supremacist rhetoric, retweeted a British neo-Nazi.
The Republican has a history of sparking controversy because of his inflammatory statements on immigrants. But, this time his ignorance was a little alarming than before as he retweeted political activist Mark Adrian Collett’s, who is a prominent Nazi sympathizer and has described himself as an admirer of Hitler.
After a couple of weeks, King finally decided to address the outcry, saying it was “unintentional” and he didn't realize he shared a message from a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi — but also that he wouldn’t apologize or delete the tweet.
“I had never heard his name before, and I don’t know why anybody would ever know his name, for that matter,” said King. “I think it’s really unjust for anyone to assign the beliefs of someone else because there’s a message there among all of that. I mean it’s the message, not the messenger.”
He went on to pointedly refuse he wouldn’t delete the message.
"Because then it'd be like I'm admitting that I did something, now I'm sorry about it. I'm not sorry. I'm human," said King in an interview with CNN.
Apart from claiming he had no idea about Collett’s political views, King said he was walking between meetings when he shared the article on Twitter, hence he didn’t notice who the author was.
"It's unjust to simply put a politically correct bridle on someone and say, 'You've got to do a background check on everybody that ever tweets something out before you can ever agree with a single sentence that they might put out,'" said King. "And by the way I didn't even know it was his message. I thought it was a Breitbart message."
House Speaker Paul Ryan's office also gave its two cents on the matter, by saying in a statement: "The Speaker has said many times that Nazis have no place in our politics, and clearly members should not engage with anyone promoting hate."
Republicans might have just shrugged off King’s statements but the social media users didn’t shy away from blasting the congressman on Twitter.
Steve King says he didn't know the person was Nazi, he just agreed with his message. Um.https://t.co/Sqo584cH9x— andrewkaczynski?? (@KFILE) June 26, 2018
Today a leading GOP Congressman said we're headed for a Second Civil War and then retweeted a Nazi sympathizer and said he wasn't sorry for doing it.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) June 27, 2018
Let me repeat: a leading GOP Congressman. Time was when the media would already be hounding the president to denounce Steve King.
Steve King retweeted an actual Nazi sympathizer and Republicans didn't even put out a statement on it. https://t.co/Q1HJVKf186— andrewkaczynski?? (@KFILE) June 26, 2018
Seriously, why does anyone feel the need to ask Steve King to explain why he retweeted a Nazi sympathizer. If you need an explainer, just look up the definition of “racist”. https://t.co/98qBQhvKzg— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) June 26, 2018
King’s off-handed response to the highly sensitive matter is hardly surprising as his nonchalance for hot button issues is very well-documented.
For instance, last year he said“we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”Essentially, he suggested that America can only be made great by white babies.
Moreover, the Republican didn’t even spare the 18-year-old Parkland survivor and student activist Emma Gonzalez, when he mocked her for her Cuban heritage.
As King has never found anything remotely wrong with his hardline approach towards immigrants, it really didn’t come as a surprise he cared little about shamelessly sharing a Nazi sympathizer’s message, which was unsurprisingly filled with mentions of the negatives of migrations.
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