URBANDALE, IA — U.S. Rep. Steve King, the longtime Iowa Republican congressman stripped of his committee assignments earlier this year after questioning why terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” have become pejoratives, wondered Wednesday if there would be any population left on Earth if not for rape and incest.

Speaking to the West Side Conservatives Club in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines that is outside of his northwest Iowa district, King said: “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”

In remarks first reported by the Des Moines Register, King was discussing abortion bills that don’t allow exceptions for rape and incest. He went on to say:

“Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that has taken place … I know I can’t certify that I was not a part of a product of that. I’d like to think that every one of the lives of us are as precious as any other life.”

Watch the clip from the Des Moines Register below:



King faces his toughest re-election effort ever in 2020. He has primary opposition and, if he wins, would again likely face J.D. Scholten, the upstart Democrat who nearly defeated King in the 2018 midterm election.

Democrats are Republicans alike were quick to condemn King, who has a long history of making incendiary remarks. Here is a brief look of some of the things that King has said or done during his tumultuous career in Congress.

‘Calves The Size Of Cantaloupes’

King was widely criticized in 2013 after he claimed that for every child of undocumented immigrants “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

At-the-time House Speaker John Boehner reprimanded King, calling his comments “deeply offensive and wrong,” but King stood by them, telling “Meet the Press”:

“My numbers have not been debunked. I said valedictorians compared to people who would be legalized under the act that are drug smugglers coming across the border.”

King Wants Americans To Look The Same

In February 2017, King retweeted a message from the Voice of Europe in which he said he agrees with far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

Amid protest that the comments were critical of immigrants, King doubled down, telling CNN he “meant exactly what I said.”.

“You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up, and that you need to teach your children your values,” the congressman said, paraphrasing remarks that he said he has delivered to audiences in Europe. “In doing so, you can grow your population, you can strengthen your culture, and you can strengthen your way of life.”

He continued: “If you go down the road a few generations, or maybe centuries, with the inter-marriage, I’d like to see an America that is just so homogenous that we look a lot the same.”

King Said Blacks, Hispanics Will Fight Each Other

Also in 2017, King cast doubt on predictions that whites will become a minority race in the United States by 2044 that were discussed by Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Univision anchor George Ramos.

In an interview with Iowa host Jan Mickelson, King said Ramos’ “stock in trade is identifying and trying to drive wedges between race.”

“When you start accentuating the differences, then you start ending up with people that are at each other’s throats,” he told WHO Radio’s Mickelson. “And he’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.”

King Questioned Contributions Of Non-Whites

During a 2016 discussion on MSNBC about Republicans’ historic underperformance with minority voters in national elections, King argued that throughout history, white people in the United States, western and eastern Europe and “every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world” have contributed more to society than “non-white subgroups.”

MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes later tweeted that “the entire notion of debating which race / civilization / ‘sub-group’ contributed most or is best is as odious as it is preposterous.”



King Retweeted A Nazi Sympathizer

In June 2018, King retweeted Nazi sympathizer Mark Collett, a prominent member of the British “alt-right” and self-professed “Nazi sympathizer” who claimed an influx of immigrants amounted to “white genocide.”

Collett also “questions the Holocaust, wants to separate the continents by races, blames slavery on Jews, mocks interracial children [and] wrote a book embracing National Socialism,” The Washington Post’s Avi Selk wrote.

Collett’s tweet included a screenshot of a Breitbart story claiming that 65 percent of Italians under 35 oppose mass immigration. Despite criticism, King refused to delete the retweet, in which he wrote: “Europe is waking up … Will America … in time?”

King Met With Far-Right Group With Nazi Ties

In October 2018, The Washington Post reported that King met with a far-right group with Nazi ties during a trip financed by a Holocaust memorial group and spoke to the website Unzensuriert, which is associated with Austria’s Freedom Party. That party espouses the same hard-line immigration stances as King, was founded by a former Nazi SS officer and is led by Heinz-Christian Strache, who was involved in neo-Nazi circles as a youth.

“What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have?” King said in the interview. “Mexican food, Chinese food, those things — well, that’s fine. But what does it bring that we don’t have that is worth the price? We have a lot of diversity within the U.S. already.”

King Kept A Confederate Flag On His Desk

King displayed a Confederate flag on his Capitol Hill desk for many years. He finally tucked it away in 2016 after two Des Moines-area police officers were ambushed and killed by a man who, earlier, had been standing near African-American students at a high school football game when he unfurled the flag — seen in modern times as a symbol of racism and slavery.

“That connection to that murderer, and that incident that may or may not have had something to do with him assaulting and murdering those officers, that’s the reason I went and took that flag down off my desk,” King told The Sioux City Journal in 2017.

He said he took the action voluntarily after the two police officers were murdered, but didn’t acquiesce to calls for its removal months earlier by then-Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and other Republican Party leaders.

Leaders in Congress debated whether Confederate flags should be allowed on federal lands after self-professed white supremacist Dylann Roof slaughtered nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina, but King defended the banner.

In a speech on the House floor on July 9, 2015, King said the Confederate flag is a symbol of heroism and pride for many Southerners. “I regret deeply that we are watching this country be divided again over a symbol,” he said at the time.

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