Once again, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) publicly declared his support for white nationalist and neo-Nazi figures and, once again, Republican leadership remains silent.
King, who is currently running for re-election, tweeted an endorsement late Tuesday evening for Faith Goldy, a white supremacist, right-wing YouTube star running for the mayor of Toronto.
“Faith Goldy, an excellent candidate for Toronto mayor, pro Rule of Law, pro Make Canada Safe Again, pro balanced budget, &...BEST of all, Pro Western Civilization and a fighter for our values. @FaithGoldy will not be silenced,” the eight-term congressman tweeted last night, despite polls having the neo-Nazi-sympathizing Toronto native at just 1.5 percent.
“Who wants to tell @SteveKingIA that Toronto isn't in the U.S.?,” King’s opponent, Democrat and ex-pro baseball player J.D Scholten hit back on Twitter. “Once again, Steve King spends more time supporting far-right leaders in other countries than he does focusing on the needs of the people of our district.”
Goldy is a self-described “tough on crime and easy on taxpayers” far-right figure who rose to prominence by promoting white nationalism and anti-Semitism, cultivating ties with neo-Nazi groups, and regularly spreading their rhetoric through her massive social-media following.
Last August, Goldy covered the deadly Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville as a correspondent for Rebel Media, a conservative Canadian outlet (also the former home of Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes), but was later fired after appearing on a show hosted by neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
In the interview, Goldy told host and fellow far-right YouTuber Stefan Molyneux that neo-Nazis offer “robust” and “well thought-out ideas” about the “JQ,” a.k.a., the “Jewish question,” a common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish people controlling many aspects of society.
“I was upset that she went to the Charlottesville protests, despite my direction to her not to go in any capacity,” said Rebel Media founder Ezra Levant in a post explaining Goldy’s termination. “But then I saw the news that she went on a podcast from the Daily Stormer, and it was just too far. So we said goodbye.”
Once leaving the right-wing outlet, however, Goldy’s neo-Nazi rhetoric only intensified. In December, she posted a live-streamed interview in which she recited the “Fourteen Words,” a set of racist and anti-Semitic white-nationalist slogans. After internet outcry, Goldy doubled down, calling the “Fourteen Words” a “simple statement of survival.”
This year, during a video chat with white supremacist Ayla Stewart, Goldy recommended to her fans a 1930’s book For My Legionaries, written by Romanian fascist and anti-Semitic leader Corneliu Codreanu. The book advocates for the elimination of “the Jewish menace.” Goldy later stated that she does “not endorse” that passage, but doubled down on her endorsement of the book overall.
Rep. King isn’t the the only American conservative to openly stand with the Canadian neo-Nazi sympathizer, solidifying her role among the ascendant pro-Trump right.
In September, former New York City mayor and current Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, posed for a series of pictures with Goldy at an event. “Just like Giuliani cleaned up the streets of NYC, our tough on crime playbook is going to run illegal guns & gangs right out of Toronto!” Goldy wrote on Twitter.
King’s endorsement of Goldy is just the latest in a long series of public declarations from the congressman indicating a shift from simply being an “immigration hardliner” to being openly sympathetic to far-right, racist ideologies.
And Republican leaders have continually turned a blind eye. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office did not respond to a request for comment on King’s endorsement of the neo-Nazi-sympathizing mayoral candidate. The National Republican Congressional Committee also declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
GOP leaders haven’t offered much of a rebuke to other recent King outbursts.
Last year, the congressman retweeted an endorsement of Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch anti-Islamic politician, adding his own suggestion that Muslim children are preventing “our civilization” from being restored.
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King wrote in support of the chairman of the Freedom Party. “We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.”
That message was met with widespread outcry among political observers, but unsurprisingly earned praise from white nationalists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
“Just in case you were thinking about moving -> sanity reigns supreme in Iowa's 4th congressional district,” Duke glowingly wrote, referring to the district King represents.
House Speaker Ryan’s only comment on his colleague’s shocking comments: “I disagree.”
The Republican Party of Iowa, however, did openly reproach King. “First of all, I do not agree with Congressman King's statement. We are a nation of immigrants, and diversity is the strength of any nation and any community,” state party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement at the time. “Regarding David Duke, his words and sentiments are absolute garbage. He is not welcome in our wonderful state.”
Kaufmann did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on King's support for Goldy.
During the 2016 Republican National Convention, King diminished the contributions of minorities to modern civilization.
“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?,” King declared, shocking his co-panelists during a discussion on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.
“Than white people?," a befuddled Hayes asked.
“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King said. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”
And last September, King bashed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his decision to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem , calling it activism that’s sympathetic to ISIS.”
King’s open embrace of racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric first came under the nation spotlight in 2013 when he claimed that young, undocumented immigrants have “calves the size of cantaloupes” because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
“I will retweet the devil if the devil tweets, “I Love Jesus,” he wrote on Monday defending his many retweets of white-nationalist figures. “It’s the message, not the messenger.”
At this point, King is best-known for promoting white nationalism without any real political consequence. Or without doing much actual legislating.
“In his almost 16 years in Congress, King has passed exactly one bill as primary sponsor, redesignating a post office,” the Des Moines Register wrote this week while endorsing his opponent. “He won’t debate his opponent and rarely holds public town halls. Instead, he spends his time meeting with fascist leaders in Europe and retweeting neo-Nazis.”
And while Republican congressional leaders fail to condemn or censure their colleague, he has earned the praise of the most powerful Republican in politics: President Trump.
"I wish you could get a little more conservative. He may be the world's most conservative human being,” the president remarked last week during an Iowa rally.