POLITICS

Rep. Steve King Says He Deserves Apology Over Coverage Of His Rape, Incest Comments

The congressman from Iowa defended his bizarre remarks and suggested he was the victim of a “vibrant left-wing media.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Republican leadership and “vibrant left-wing media” owe him an apology over their response to recent comments he made while defending his extreme anti-abortion views in which he appeared to downplay rape and incest.

The congressman, who has a long history of espousing white supremacist beliefs, faced renewed calls for his resignation after he made the controversial remarks at his town hall in Urbandale, Iowa, on Wednesday.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest?” King said on Wednesday. “Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”

King made the bizarre statement while defending his belief that anti-abortion legislation that makes exceptions for victims of rape and incest doesn’t go far enough. The remarks drew heated backlash from Democrats and some Republicans.

During another town hall event on Saturday in Grundy County, King defended his rape and incest comments, and suggested he was the victim of a “very active and vibrant left-wing media.”

Iowans “know it’s a misquote and they know that [The Associated Press] has, I’ll say, retracted the quote that they initially used because they relied on the Des Moines Register who did the same,” he said. 

He continued: “And so when we have a national, viral attack that comes down on a misquote ... all the folks that did that attack, I think they owe me an apology, including my own leadership. I don’t expect that’s going to happen because egos are a little too strong in this business.”

The “misquote” King mentioned was a reference to a correction the AP made to its story about the rape and incest comments. The news outlet, citing the Register, originally quoted King as stating, “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother.”

King, referring to other members of the House who support banning abortion, actually said, “I’ve got 174 people who say they don’t want exceptions for rape and incest because they understand it is not the baby’s fault, to abort the baby, because of the sin of the father, and maybe sometimes the sin of the mother too.”

Video from the town hall (see below) shows King’s other comments, including his statements about rape and incest, were reported accurately. 

Only one person attended King’s Grundy County town hall, though dozens more reportedly showed up to a second town hall in Buena Vista County later that day.

Other members of the GOP bashed the comments, with Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann calling them “outrageous” and “not reflective of the Republican Party of Iowa.”

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, described King’s remarks as “appalling and bizarre” and once again called on him to resign.

Asked Thursday if he believes King should step down, President Donald Trump claimed he didn’t know about “the situation.”

“It looked like — I read a statement that supposedly he made. I haven’t been briefed on it,” he said. “But certainly it wasn’t a very good statement.”

Watch King’s comments about rape and incest during his town hall on Wednesday below:

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