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Republicans’ resident white supremacist is at it again

Republican leadership clearly doesn't care about Steve King.

Republicans Steve King, Ted Cruz, and Louie Gohmert share a laugh in Fenton, Iowa on January 29, 2016. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Republicans Steve King, Ted Cruz, and Louie Gohmert share a laugh in Fenton, Iowa on January 29, 2016. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump isn’t the only prominent Republican to embrace white supremacy.

On Tuesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) retweeted prominent white nationalist and Holocaust denier Lana Lokteff, and added his own commentary comparing socialists to Nazis:

This is far from the first time King has expressed such sentiments. In fact, the congressman has a long history of promoting racist propaganda.

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A member of Congress since 2003, King has been pictured with a Confederate flag at his desk (even though Iowa was not part of the Confederacy), defended white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, spread lies about immigrants, claimed “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” amplified tweets from neo-Nazis, and made numerous trips to a country with a far-right government. His efforts have earned praise from former KKK leader David Duke, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, and far-right site The Daily Stormer.

Despite his latest racist tweet, Republican leadership continued its time-honored tradition of ignoring King’s antics. When a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) finally got around to criticizing a racist tweet King sent in June, the Iowa Republican brushed it off because he wasn’t mentioned by name.

The inaccurate comparisons of Nazi Germany to socialism are a common scare tactic on the right, as Donald Trump Jr. also made the claim last month. This conservative talking point is based primarily on the word “socialist” appearing in the name of Adolf Hitler’s ruling party. In reality, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party did not have much in common with socialism, as Snopes explained:

However, the assumption that because the word “socialist” appeared in the party’s name and socialist words and ideas popped up in the writings and speeches of top Nazis then the Nazis must have been actual socialists is naive and ahistorical. What the evidence shows, on the contrary, is that Nazi Party leaders paid mere lip service to socialist ideals on the way to achieving their one true goal: raw, totalitarian power.

Historian Kevin M. Kruse has noted that “socialists were among the first groups put into Nazi concentration camps.”