Rep Steve King, R-Iowa, compared the fallout over his questioning why using the term "white supremacy" was offensive to the persecution of Jesus Christ.
The congressman went on to cite being "true believers" and "a strong Christian ethic" as heavily impacting his office and who he is as a person.
In January, King publicly questioned why white supremacy is considered offensive. The month prior, the congressman won his ninth term, following a close 2018 reelection.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he asked. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Those comments drew immediate backlash, with GOP members voting unanimously to remove King from his Congressional committee assignments. The House also condemned King's comments and white supremacy more broadly by passing a resolution of disapproval, 424-1. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, was the only vote against, as he felt the resolution did not go far enough.
King ultimately backtracked, issuing a statement identifying himself as a “nationalist” and deny that he is an advocate for white nationalism or supremacy.”
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define,” he said.
Despite this rejection, King’s official House website still links to VDare, a website which describes diversity as a “vulnerability”, opposes most immigration and publishes what it describes as white nationalist writers. King has also drawn attention for retweeting Mark Collett, a neo-Nazi, and supporting Marine Le Pen, former French presidential candidate and head of the fascist political group the National Front.