Why GOP lawmaker won't delete Neo-Nazi retweet

CNN's Chris Cuomo questions Rep. Steve King (R-IA) about retweeting a message from a self-described Nazi sympathizer who has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 3:12 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2018 3:16 PM

Rep. Steve King, the anti-immigration hardliner, said Tuesday he didn't realize he retweeted a message from a self-described Nazi sympathizer who has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.

But King told CNN he wasn't sorry for unintentionally sharing the tweet and pointedly refused to delete the message.

Asked why he wouldn't delete a message from someone who has praised Nazi Germany, King said: "Because then it'd be like I'm admitting that I did something, now I'm sorry about it. I'm not sorry. I'm human."

In an interview just off the House floor, King also espoused his own hard-line immigration views, saying that the US is a "Judeo-Christian country" and immigrants need to embrace "Americanism" and "not create enclaves in America that are the antithesis of Americanism." He said he had no opinion on whether the United States should allow more European immigrants into the United States than from Asian, African or Middle Eastern countries.

"I want to see the American civilization strengthened," King said. "That means we are a Judeo-Christian country, and we could not have succeeded without our Founding Fathers' (knowing) that."

King had drawn sharp rebukes for retweeting a message earlier this month from activist Mark Collett, former chairman of a far-right British youth party, who said on Twitter: "65% of Italians under the age of 35 now oppose mass immigration. Europe is waking up..."

King retweeted Collett's message and added a message: "Europe is waking up...Will America...in time?"

On Tuesday, King said he had never heard of Collett and claimed to know nothing about his political views. King said he only shared the message because he noticed a screenshot of the Breitbart article that was cited in Collett's tweet.

"I had never heard his name before, and I don't know why anybody would ever know his name, for that matter," King said. "I think it's really unjust for anyone to assign the beliefs of someone else because there's a message there among all of that. I mean it's the message, not the messenger."

For the first time on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan's office weighed into the controversy, saying in a statement: "The Speaker has said many times that Nazis have no place in our politics, and clearly members should not engage with anyone promoting hate."

When he wrote the June 12 tweet, King said he was walking between meetings and was trying to just share the Breitbart article. While he was searching for the article on Twitter, he found Collett's tweet and didn't realize whose message he was sharing. He noted he later shared the Breibart article in a separate tweet without Collett's message.

"It's unjust to simply put a politically correct bridle on someone and say, 'You've got to do a background check on everybody that ever tweets something out before you can ever agree with a single sentence that they might put out,'" King said. "And by the way I didn't even know it was his message. I thought it was a Breitbart message."

King reiterated his message in an interview Tuesday night with Chris Cuomo CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," where he again refused to delete the tweet.

"It's pretty simple. I tweeted a Breitbart story, I didn't tweet a message from him," King said.

King has a history of making inflammatory comments about immigrants -- and espouses among the most extreme views on immigration of any member of the House Republican Conference.

Asked if he supported more European immigrants, rather than from Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries, King said: "I've never taken a position on that, primarily because there aren't a lot of people coming out of Europe."

King said he wanted immigrants to assimilate to American culture and not "try to reverse it."

"They can figure out who they are," King said of "enclaves" that are the "antithesis of Americanism." "The American people can also figure out who they are."

Terre Haute
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 33°
Robinson
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 32°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
33° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 28°
Rockville
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 28°
Casey
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Brazil
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 33°
Marshall
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 33°
Peaceful Weather
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 697489

Reported Deaths: 12594
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2961296450
DuPage43513770
Will37368553
Lake36001623
Kane30756459
Winnebago18330259
Madison13868241
McHenry13788155
St. Clair12765256
Champaign1053857
Sangamon972599
Peoria8739129
Rock Island8358133
Kankakee8341103
McLean811354
Tazewell6480102
Macon6268129
Kendall606044
LaSalle5907132
DeKalb480846
Adams464448
Boone376133
Vermilion374247
Whiteside3631106
Williamson349180
Coles325358
Clinton323560
Ogle275233
Knox270462
Effingham265621
Grundy264418
Jackson259036
Henry253614
Marion239150
Stephenson237834
Livingston218424
Randolph218326
Morgan214035
Macoupin210817
Bureau205041
Monroe200144
Franklin198725
Lee189429
Christian184142
Jefferson180959
Woodford166826
Fayette163828
Logan161713
Iroquois161526
McDonough155440
Fulton139911
Shelby133826
Douglas131416
Jersey120523
Union116128
Montgomery111519
Crawford109313
Saline108624
Perry105223
Jo Daviess104917
Warren104420
Carroll102824
Bond100710
Lawrence99610
Pike99027
Cass94723
Hancock93612
Wayne86833
Moultrie86610
Clay81319
Greene80728
Edgar77516
Clark77019
Piatt7585
Ford72922
Richland72319
Mercer71210
Mason70219
Johnson6996
Washington6642
Jasper63411
Cumberland60616
De Witt59617
White5868
Massac5793
Wabash5318
Menard4441
Unassigned4340
Pulaski4072
Marshall3826
Hamilton3763
Brown3183
Henderson2760
Schuyler2641
Alexander2522
Putnam2400
Stark2363
Calhoun2310
Scott2310
Edwards2233
Gallatin1873
Hardin1440
Pope941
Out of IL200

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266