White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to defend the comments by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that many found to be very close to ideas held by white supremacists.
"Sean I asked you yesterday about president's response to Steve King," a reporter asked, "do you have anything on that?"
"I think the president believes that his is not a point of view that he shares," Spicer answered simply. "He believes he is a president for all Americans."
King has been upbraided by those on the left and even some on the right for his tweet that seems to suggest that foreigners are detrimental to the country, which some saw as a dog whistle targeting people of color.
The message read, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," and linked to a cartoon of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who regularly sounds the alarm against what he considers a threat to Western Civilization from encroaching Islamism.
While defending his comments later, King said that his criticism was not about race, but about culture. Liberals have accused him of using thinly veiled messages that they see as rooted in racism and xenophobia. Some Republicans also blasted him for making the comments, including CNN contributor Anna Navarro and the Iowa Republican Party.
Rep. King followed up the controversy by addressing the prediction reported by Univision's Jorge Ramos that whites would become a minority group in American in the coming years. "When you start accentuating the differences," he explained, "then you end up with people that are at each others’ throats. And he’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 14, 2017
Rep. King has been a stalwart voice against illegal immigration, any kind of amnesty, and any compromise on border security.