Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has long been a friend to the European far right.
He’s hobnobbed with the leaders of hardline anti-immigrant parties across Western and Central Europe. He’s touted his “friendship” with Norbert Hofer, the 2016 Austrian presidential candidate for the Freedom Party, which was founded in 1956 by a former Nazi officer. And he’s made no secret of his support for French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, leader of the nativist party National Front.
After meeting with Geert Wilders and Frauke Petry — anti-immigrant demagogues from the Netherlands and Germany, respectively — in September 2016, King even tweeted a photo with the aphorism, “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 18, 2016
But on Sunday of this week, King embraced language that is incendiary even by his corroded standards. In a tweet once again supporting Wilders — who is in the final days of his latest bid to become prime minister of the Netherlands — King said: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
The tweet also quoted from “Voice of Europe,” an “Anti EU / Pro Europe / MAGA” account that frequently promulgates messages deriding Muslim immigration and endorsing far-right European leaders such as Wilders.
It wasn’t immediately clear who King meant by “somebody else’s babies,” but white nationalists have used similar language to suggest that America needs more white people of European descent, and fewer Muslim and Latino immigrants. In December, a Dutch court cited Wilders for discrimination because of his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Another clue to what King meant by “somebody else’s babies” comes from a July 2016 MSNBC appearance in which he wondered aloud what “sub-groups” have done more for civilization than white people.
One last clue: King once proudly displayed a Confederate flag on his desk, even though his congressional district is in a state that fought on the side of the Union.
Prominent white supremacist and former Klan leader David Duke was quick to praise King’s defense of “our civilization” against “somebody else’s babies.”
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017
An earlier version of this story reported King still keeps a Confederate flag on his desk. In fact, since the initial reports about the flag, he has subsequently removed it.