on many sides
January 16, 2019

The White House isn't standing by Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) racist comments, either.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that King's recent statements were "abhorrent," NBC News' Peter Alexander reports. King last week wondered aloud in an interview with The New York Times why terms like "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" are considered "offensive." He later insisted that his comments were "completely mischaracterized," Fox News reports, although this was hardly his first offense.

King's remarks were widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike, and the House on Tuesday voted to denounce white supremacy in response; the vote was nearly unanimous, with the only dissenting congressman being Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who thought they should have gone further by censuring King, reports CNN. In addition to the rebuke, King was also stripped of his committee assignments.

But Sanders turned things around on Democrats Wednesday, saying that "the Republican leadership unlike Democrats have actually taken action when their members have said outrageous and inappropriate things." While she didn't cite specific examples, she may have in mind Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) remark about Democrats preparing to "impeach the motherf---er," referring to President Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) later said in response that she "wouldn't use that language" but that she's "not in the censorship business" and that it wasn't "anything worse than what the president has said." Critics like The New York Times' Maggie Haberman, on the other hand, pointed out that Democrats pushed out former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) over sexual misconduct allegations that he denied. Brendan Morrow

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