- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, declined an opportunity to apologize for a remark about white nationalism that recently cost him his House committee assignments.

In an interview filmed Thursday for Iowa Public Television, “Iowa Press” host David Yepsen asked Mr. King: “Are you sorry for anything that you’ve said?”

“I have nothing to apologize for,” Mr. King responded.

“We know what the news media has done continually,” Mr. King added. “Each thing starts out with some formerly credible organization that launches this. And then we have this phenomenon that America is not ready for and that’s this cyberbullying that unleashes. It’s there and creating a firestorm.”

A 9-term congressman, Mr. King was stripped of committee assignments by House leadership last month amid facing criticism for comments he made during an interview published by The New York Times on January 10.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said during the interview, according to the newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

Six weeks later, Mr. King said during the television segment that the outcry caused by the article was the result of a “misquote.”

“If you would just hold these publications to what is true, there is no story whatsoever,” said Mr. King.

“There’s no part of me that believes in anything that’s advocated by folks that identify themselves as white nationalists or white supremacy,” Mr. King added.

Patrick Healy, a politics editor for the New York Times, issued a statement later Thursday defending the journalist who interviewed Mr. King, The Des Moines Register reported.

“Trip Gabriel typed detailed notes during the interview and we are absolutely confident that we quoted Mr. King accurately, fairly and in the proper context,” Mr. Healy wrote.

“I’d point out that for more than 24 hours after the article was published, Mr. King did not dispute he had made the comment,” Mr. Healey added.

Speaking on the floor of the House the day after the article was published, Mr. King said he regretted the “heartburn that has poured forth upon this Congress and this country and especially in my state and in my congressional district.”

“I reject that ideology,” he said of white nationalism and white supremacy during a six-minute floor speech. “I defend American civilization, which is an essential component of Western civilization.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, stripped Mr. King of his committee assignments several days later.

Mr. King plans to seek a 10th term in Congress in 2020, he said Thursday.

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