GOP Rep. King loses committee posts over racial remarks

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made it clear that he will not tolerate racially charged comments from House Republicans.

"As Congressman King's fellow citizens, let us hope and pray earnestly that this action will lead to greater reflection and ultimately change on his part", McCarthy said.

King told The New York Times in an interview that he didn't understand how "white supremacist" or "white nationalist" were offensive terms.

In a statement after the article was published, King insisted that he rejected what he called the "evil ideology" of white nationalism and supremacy, and reiterated that he considers himself a "nationalist" who supports the values of "Western civilization".

Former Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love, now a CNN political commentator, said on "The Van Jones Show" over the weekend that King's comments hurt the GOP. That is not the America I know.

"When people with opinions similar to King's open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole", Scott wrote, adding, "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism - it is because of our silence when things like this are said".

House Republicans, meanwhile, appear to be readying a move to strip King of his committee assignments.

Yet, when Americans hear people like King claim that white nationalists and white supremacists are not offensive, it has a negative impact on the entire Republican party.

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The comment drew a denunciation from a member of House Republican leadership.

Republican leaders in the House voted to remove the Iowa lawmaker from the Judiciary, Agricultural and Small Business committees following his inflammatory remarks.

McCarthy wasn't alone in his disgust for King's statements.

McCarthy told reporters Monday that he was not removing King from the GOP House conference and said voters "have that decision to make" in terms of the lawmaker's future in the chamber.

McConnell, in his statement, said he has "no tolerance" for the positions offered by King, and said "those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms". I think all of us ought to be united, regardless of party, in saying, white supremacism, white nationalism, is hatred.

"I may not have everybody with me, but this is one member of Congress [who] will stand up to Steve King and his entire ilk and ideology", he said. King has made at least six trips to Austria while in Congress and gave an interview to a far-right newspaper there where he decried the country's "Nazi guilt".

Randy Feenstra, a Republican state senator, announced Wednesday that he plans to run against King in 2020.