- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday refuted Iowa Rep. Steve King’s claims that there will be any “exoneration” of his controversial remarks about white supremacy.

Mr. King told constituents that he has secured promises from leadership that he’d be given his committee assignments back and “that will be my time for exoneration,” the Sioux City Journal reported Tuesday.

Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, denied saying any such thing.

“Congressman King’s comments cannot be exonerated and I never said that,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference. “Committee assignments are decided by the committee. Talking to members on the committee I think he’ll get the same answer that he got before.”

Mr. King was quoted in January 2019 by The New York Times as saying: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” He has said his comments were misconstrued.

Mr. King was stripped of his committee assignments, as some critics from his own party, including GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, called for his removal. However, he is still allowed to vote on House bills.

He currently faces a primary challenge for his seat from state Sen. Randy Feenstra. The election is set for next month.

Mr. McCarthy did not weigh in on Mr. King’s race, saying that it was ultimately up to the residents of his district.

“”I have not taken a position on his race. the people have the determination to decide who they want to vote for,” he said. “The constituents have a decision to make and they can make their own decision.”

Should Mr. King win reelection, Mr. McCarthy said he had the right to appeal for committee assignments but that is ultimately up to the Republican members of the steering committee.

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