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Rep. Steve King said he has "a better insight" into what Jesus "went through for us" after the Iowa Republican was rebuked by the House and stripped of committee assignments by his own party for racist comments.
King made the comparison at a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa, on Tuesday.
"For all that I've been through, it seems even strange for me to say it, but I'm at a certain peace," King said. "And it's because of a lot of prayers for me."
"And when I had to step down 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."
He added, "I'm grateful that we are the people that we are, that we have not only a strong Christian ethic here and a higher percentage of people that are true believers — we have all of that going for us — but also in our culture, and we don't think about it very often, about how much our Christian faith echoes through who we are as a people."
King has been admonished by his party for his past comments about race. In January, GOP members voted unanimously to strip him of all of his committee assignments amid the furor over his comments about white nationalism in an interview with The New York Times. The House also voted on a resolution disapproving of white nationalism and white supremacy in response to King's remarks.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King told the newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters at the time that King's language was "reckless, wrong, and has no place in our society."
King later backtracked in a statement at the time, saying, "I reject white nationalism. I reject white supremacy. It's not part of any of my ideology. I reject anyone who carries that ideology."`
He also faced a backlash in March after he told constituents at a town hall that victims of Hurricane Katrina pleaded for help from the government in contrast to residents of his home state of Iowa who "take care of each other."