GOP Rep. Steve King (Iowa) on Tuesday compared the censure he faced earlier this year for controversial statements regarding white nationalism to the suffering of Jesus Christ.
During a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa, the controversial lawmaker appeared to compare his experience of being formally rebuked in the House to the trial and persecution of Jesus.
“For all that I’ve been through — and it seems even strange for me to say it — but I am at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me,” King told the crowd, according to the Sioux City Journal.
“And when I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know, we’ve just passed through Easter and Christ’s Passion — and I have a better insight into what he went through for us, partly because of that experience,” King said.
King sparked bipartisan backlash for questioning how terms such as “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” became “offensive.”
In response to the controversy, House Republicans removed the nine-term congressman from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees.
The House also passed a resolution condemning white nationalism and white supremacy by a 424-1 vote.
In 2013, King made the now notorious racist claim that for every child of illegal immigrants “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Then-House Speaker John Boehner reprimanded King, calling his comments “deeply offensive and wrong,” reports The New York Times.
King stood by his claims at the time, saying on Meet the Press: “My numbers have not been debunked. I said valedictorians compared to people who would be legalized under the act that are drug smugglers coming across the border.”