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House GOP Leader To Take Action Against Steve King's Racial Remarks

WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM / AP) — The House Republican leader said Sunday he will meet with Rep. Steve King this week to discuss his future and role in the party, promising action following his recent comments in defense of white supremacy.

"That language has no place in America," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "That is not the America I know and it's most definitely not the party of Lincoln. Action will be taken. I'm having a serious conversation with congressman Steve King."

The Iowa congressman was quoted in The New York Times last week as saying, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King insisted he is an advocate for "Western civilization," not white supremacy or white nationalism.

He said it was a "mistake" to use phrasing that "created an unnecessary controversy" and denied being racist.

McCarthy told CBS' "Face The Nation" host Margaret Brennan after the cameras were turned off that he is reviewing whether King, now serving his ninth term, should keep his committee assignments, according to CBS' transcript of the broadcast.

King serves on the agriculture, small business and judiciary committees, and chairs Judiciary's subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said they'll be acting on King's actions; however, she didn't elaborate.

King's comments ignited a firestorm, drawing condemnation from the top three House Republican leaders. GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is African-American, aired his disapproval in a newspaper opinion column.

"What Steve King said was stupid," said Senator Ted Cruz. "It was stupid, it was hurtful, it was wrong and he needs to stop it."

King was a co-chair of Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign. When asked if he could support King in the future, Cruz said: "What I'm going to do is urge everyone to stand for principles that matter."

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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