Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann condemned Rep. Steve King Monday morning for tweeting over the weekend what critics have said was a disparaging comment toward Muslim immigrants.
King, an Iowa Republican, tweeted Sunday his apparent support for a Dutch far-right prime minister candidate Geert Wilders.
"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," King said, linking to a tweet from the Twitter user Voice of Europe.
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody… https://t.co/suNFm5lxHd— Steve King (@Steve King)1489340411.0
An image with the Voice of Europe tweet, linked in King's own tweet, depicts Wilders plugging a hole in a wall labeled "Western Civilization." However, green liquid with Islamic symbols crashes over the wall as Middle Eastern men with knives appear to be racing toward Wilders.
The Voice of Europe Twitter account, with more than 106,000 followers, bills itself as "real news from a beautiful continent in danger" in its bio. Its bio also includes the acronym MAGA, which stands for Make America Great Again – the rallying cry of President Donald Trump's campaign.
Many social media users condemned King's tweet, saying that it suggests that Muslim children are the reason why "our civilization" cannot be restored. Those on Twitter called the lawmaker a "bigot" and a "fake Republican" and implied that he is a Nazi.
King's tweet even caught the eye of white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who praised the sentiments.
Just in case you were thinking about moving -> sanity reigns supreme in Iowa's 4th congressional district.… https://t.co/Stwqsz4l1l— David Duke (@David Duke)1489342874.0
GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!! #TruthRISING https://t.co/oDFel8JDrP— David Duke (@David Duke)1489346578.0
However, King's own party in Iowa condemned the rhetoric in a statement.
"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," Kaufmann said.
"Regarding David Duke, his words and sentiments are absolute garbage," Kaufmann continued. "He is not welcome in our wonderful state."
And Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) shared a couple of tweets Monday that appear to be in direct opposition of the sentiments expressed by King's Twitter account.
"America is not about any one color, or one ethnicity, or one faith," Young tweeted. "America is about self-government, the rule of law, freedom and the liberties and rights given in our Constitution."
(1/2)America is not about any one color, or one ethnicity, or one faith. https://t.co/TG6SVYyn7q— David Young (@David Young)1489411856.0
(2/2) America is about self-government, the rule of law, freedom, and the liberties and rights given in our Constit… https://t.co/Lzq7IwBATN— David Young (@David Young)1489411924.0
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, also weighed in on Twitter.
Clearly the Congressman does not view all our children as, well, all our children. Particularly ironic & painful on… https://t.co/PPuPBRNKeI— Chelsea Clinton (@Chelsea Clinton)1489344472.0