House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday said “action will be taken” against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) over his recent comments to The New York Times questioning why terms such as “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” are considered offensive.
McCarthy said on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that he will meet with King on Monday to discuss the veteran lawmaker’s future in the Republican Party.
″That language has no place in America,” McCarthy said on the program. “That is not the America that I know. And it’s most definitely not the party of Lincoln.”
He continued, “Action will be taken. I’m having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in this Republican Party.”
Asked to elaborate on what repercussions King may face, McCarthy simply responded that “a number of things” would occur.
Following his on-camera interview, McCarthy told host Margaret Brennan that he is reviewing whether King will keep his congressional committee assignments, CBS reported.
Representatives for both McCarthy and King did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
In his interview with the Times, King said he’s OK with immigrants of various races legally entering the U.S. ― so long as American culture stays white and European.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King, 69, told the newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Following swift backlash over his remarks, King issued a statement calling himself a “nationalist” who supports “western civilization’s values.” He said he rejected the “labels” of white nationalism and white supremacy, as well as “the evil ideology they define.”
Despite his long history of making Islamophobic comments, endorsing white supremacists and retweeting neo-Nazis, King previously faced little pushback from his fellow Republican lawmakers. And while his bigoted rhetoric was called out by several media outlets, including HuffPost, in the run-up to the midterm election in November, King was re-elected to House for a ninth term.
McCarthy on Sunday became the first Republican leader to suggest King will face any repercussions for his comments to the Times.
“Let me be clear ― Rep. King’s language is reckless, wrong, and has no place in society,” he tweeted after his CBS interview.
King’s comments to the Times spurred rebukes some several GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
“Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said,” Scott wrote in The Washington Post.
Scott later shied away from calling King a racist on Fox News and said King should not resign.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.