Iowa Rep. Steve King has made several controversial statements over the years resulting in accusations of racism, but on Sunday he appeared to settle the debate by defending his association with a Nazi-linked Austrian group, telling The Washington Post the organization is simply “far-right.”
> He made the comments about Austria’s Freedom Party, a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer and whose current leader was active in neo-Nazi circles, according to the paper.
> “If they were in America pushing the platform that they push, they would be Republicans,” King, who is known for his inflammatory statements about immigration, told the Post.
During an August interview with Austria’s Freedom Party, King bemoaned the effects of immigration on Western civilization — which he said is in decline — asking, “What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have?”
> His comments to the Post came after 11 worshippers were killed in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, in what is the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
> King told the Post that he is not anti-Semitic and touted his support for Israel.
Last year, King — who is up for reelection next month and heavily favored to win — sparked controversy when he tweeted that "we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."