Republican Rep. Steve King once appeared on a far-right podcast that frequently gave a platform to white nationalists and whose host has argued that some races are less intelligent than others.
King, who was just elected to his ninth term in Iowa, took part in a 45-minute interview for the Freedomain Radio podcast, hosted by far-right internet personality Stefan Molyneux in September 2017, a CNN KFile review of King’s media appearances reveals.
In the interview, King called the Congressional Black Caucus “the self-segregating congressional black caucus” and said that the group was a “grievance committee” that hijacked Martin Luther King Jr.’s message.
“They more or less hijacked his movement and turned it into their grievance committee and now they’re pressing all of us for special benefits based upon race,” King said.
King also complained that, because of immigration reform in the 1960s, there weren’t as many Irish immigrants as promised, and that instead the United States was experiencing protests at NFL games.
“Ted Kennedy said, ‘this won’t change the demographic makeup in America,’ and he meant there’ll be just as many Irish coming in as there used to be. And of course, that didn’t turn out to be true,” King said of the late longtime Massachusetts senator. “And now we have people kneeling on the sidelines at the pro football games out of disrespect to our flag and what it stands for.”
King did not respond to a request for comment.
The news of King’s appearance comes after his surprisingly narrow re-election victory in the midterms. Before the election, King came under fire for endorsing a white nationalist politician for Toronto mayor and for taking part in an interview with a far-right Austrian magazine where he outlined a version of “The Great Replacement,” a far-right conspiracy theory that posits that white people are being systematically replaced by a non-white population.
King’s comments and affiliations with white nationalists earned him a rare rebuke during the 2018 campaign from national Republicans when Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, condemned King’s rhetoric in October.
“We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior,” Stivers said.
Kim Reynolds, the Republican governor of Iowa, also distanced herself from King after the midterms, saying that “King needs to make a decision if he wants to represent the people and the values of the 4th District or do something else.”
Despite mounting criticism, King said earlier this month that his fellow Republicans in Congress support him.
“I’ve got colleagues coming up to me all the time I’ve been here this week going, ‘Man, I’m so glad you were able to withstand that,’” he said, according to HuffPost.