Steve King defends anti-immigration tweet: 'I meant exactly what I said'

Steve KingScreenshot/CNNSteve King

Rep. Steve King on Monday doubled down on his controversial anti-immigrant tweet, saying he “meant exactly what [he] said.”

King, a Republican from Iowa, tweeted in favour of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders on Sunday afternoon, linking to a cartoon of Wilders plugging a cracked wall with “Western civilisation” written on it.

“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King tweeted. “We can’t restore our civilisation with somebody else’s babies.”

The tweet prompted backlash from both sides of the aisle, but King stood firm.

“Well, of course I meant exactly what I said, as always is the case,” he told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.

“To expand on that a little further, I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same things as far as 10 years ago to the German people and to any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves, and I’ve said to them, you cannot rebuild your civilisation with someone else’s babies, you’ve got to keep your birthrate up and that you need to teach your children your values.”

King said that this means of preserving culture is “not happening in any of the Western European countries.”

“We need to get our birthrates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half a century of a little more, and Geert Wilders knows that,” King said.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo said King’s thinking seemed like “a complete contradiction of what we’re all about,” pointing out that America is known as a “melting pot” of diversity.

“You’re kind of trying to white-cleanse our population,” Cuomo said.

King said that the US is proud of “different-looking Americans that are still Americans” and then pivoted to talk about abortion.

“There’s an American culture, an American civilisation, it’s raised within these children in these American homes and that’s one of the reasons why we require that the president of the United States be raised with an American experience,” King said. “But we’ve also aborted nearly 60 million babies in this country since 1973.”

King said there’s been an effort to fill the void left by abortion with “somebody else’s babies.”

“That’s that push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilisation,” King said. “Some embrace it, yes. But many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back now and resisting against the assimilation.”

Watch the clip below, via CNN: 

Rep. Steve King doubles down on his controversial tweet: “I meant exactly what I said” https://t.co/onPwAdQ3SD https://t.co/Rkn8J2MMC4
— New Day (@NewDay) March 13, 2017

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