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King says he’s ‘playing defense’ in US House

Congressman lashes out at loss of committee seats

U.S. Rep. Steve King told a Fort Dodge audience Saturday morning that he spends his time in the Capitol aggressively defending President Donald Trump and ”playing defense” against Democrats in the House of Representatives.

During an Eggs and Issues forum, a member of the audience asked the Republican from Kiron what he does since he was stripped of all committee assignments following a January 2019 interview with The New York Times in which he was quoted as saying ”White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization, how did that language become offensive?”

King criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, who removed him from his committee seats.

”First of all, this isn’t on me,” King said. ”This is on Kevin McCarthy. Everybody here should know that in the history of the United States of America there have only been four people removed from their committees. Three of them are convicted of confessed federal felonies. They can’t even find a rule that I circumvented, let alone violated. This is an egregious offense to you and you ought to speak up.”

”You all know that The New York Times misquoted me and you ought to know that this was a strategized effort on the part of people on the left side of the aisle and some of the people on the right side of the aisle,” he added.

King said he is pleased with recent successes the Trump administration has had in trade negotiations. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and what’s being called a Phase One deal with China were approved recently. King said as a result of those deals and others, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and South Korea are ”in the bag or nearly in the bag.”

He predicted the United States will get a new bilateral trade agreement with Britain after it leaves the European Union.

”I believe that within say the next six months or a year, we will be in a position on trade better than any of us can remember,” King said. ”I’m happy, very happy, about the trade circumstances we have.”

While King spoke, a woman in the audience held up a small sign with the word racist written on it.

Jim Kersten, the forum’s moderator, told the woman she would be asked to leave if she continued.

”This is a civil conversation,” he said. ”You don’t need to call people names.”