GOP Rep. Steve King (Iowa) said Wednesday that during a recent visit to a migrant detention facility he drank from a toilet and that the water was “actually pretty good.”
“I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King told a crowd of about 80 people at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa.
“I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good,” he added.
NBC News notes that King appears to be describing a water fountain attached to the facility’s toilet.
King’s comments appeared to be in reference to an account by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who said that she was told by detainees at the facility that they were specifically told that the water fountains were broken and that personnel suggested they drink from the toilet bowl instead.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at the time: “Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”
She said people were “drinking out of toilets” while officers laughed “in front of members Congress.”
“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities,” she wrote. “It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.”
She continued: “After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as ‘psychological warfare’ – waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc. Tell me what about that is due to a ‘lack of funding?’ ”
King had earlier recounted the incident at a town hall Wednesday in the town of Eagle Grove in Iowa, reports The Hill.
“There’s these toilets in these prisons [that] are stainless steel. They’re built so that they are semi-indestructible by the inmates that are there and in the back where the lid would be on our toilet, that’s also sealed,” King added. “It’s not drinking out of the toilet, it’s drinking out of the water fountain that’s integral with the back of the toilet.”
Hello Maura: Thank you for covering my town hall, attended by 103 people, in Eagle Grove today. I hope you will include this video in NBC’s coverage. No way was @AOC objectively honest in her #FakeNews spin about the border. Click bait for Snowflakes! https://t.co/2mWRoxv1uW pic.twitter.com/B0kD3N5Vmj
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 4, 2019
“Lawyers who recently visited two Texas facilities at which migrant children were held said that children and teens had not been able to shower in weeks. They also reported an inadequate food supply and flu outbreaks. A facility meant for 100 had 350 children, and kids as young as 7 or 8 were forced to care for toddlers, NBC News has reported,” reports NBC News.