U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks during a town hall meeting, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Primghar, Iowa. King held the first of a promised 39 town hall meetings in his Iowa district since he made racist remarks during a newspaper interview this month that led to a formal rebuke and diminished role in Congress. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Steve King applauded at first Iowa event since House rebuke

January 26, 2019 - 12:03 pm

PRIMGHAR, Iowa (AP) — Constituents applauded Republican Rep. Steve King at the first of 39 town hall meetings the Iowa congressman plans to hold following his nearly unanimous rebuke by the U.S. House over racist comments he made during a newspaper interview earlier this month.

King took questions from about 75 people who attended the Saturday morning meeting in the tiny northwestern Iowa city of Primghar. He did not take questions from reporters.

It was King's first public event since the New York Times published a story that quoted him saying, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?"

The comments were denounced as racist and led the House to vote 424-1 to rebuke King. Republican leaders also stripped him of his committee assignments.

King claimed his comments were taken out of context, saying in a House floor speech that he doesn't believe in white supremacy, so "I do not know how it could possibly come out of my mouth."

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