Congressman Steve King refuses to delete retweet of UK neo-Nazi
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Congressman Steve King refuses to delete retweet of UK neo-Nazi

Republican lawmaker will not apologize for anti-immigration message from Mark Collett

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) speaks in Des Moines, Iowa on January 23, 2014. (Charlie Niebergall/ AP)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) speaks in Des Moines, Iowa on January 23, 2014. (Charlie Niebergall/ AP)

Republican congressman Steve King on Tuesday said that although he did not realize he had retweeted a message from a well-known British neo-Nazi, he will not delete the tweet.

Speaking to CNN, the congressman from Iowa said he would not remove the message “because then it’d be like I’m admitting that I did something, now I’m sorry about it. I’m not sorry. I’m human.”

On Tuesday, the spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan, AshLee Strong, issued a statement on the controversy, saying “the speaker has said many times that Nazis have no place in our politics, and clearly members should not engage with anyone promoting hate.”

On June 12, King wrote: “Europe is waking up… Will America… in time?” linking to an anti-immigration tweet from Mark Collett.

Collett is one of Britain’s most high-profile white nationalists and is a self-proclaimed Nazi sympathizer.

He is the former chairman of the youth division of the British National Party, an ultra-nationalist political movement. Collett was ousted from his party in 2010, over an alleged plot to murder the BNP’s then-leader. He was questioned by police and released on bail.

Collett has previously expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler, called AIDS a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it” and referred to asylum seekers as “cockroaches.”

In a 2002 documentary called, “Young, Nazi and Proud,” Collett said: “The Jews have been thrown out of every country, including England. Let’s face it, when it happens that many times it’s not just persecution: there’s no smoke without fire.”

Collett is also a frequent guest on the radio show of David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

The tweet was not the first time King has stirred controversy for making controversial statements. The congressman has previously said the US should not apologize for slavery, questioned the birthplace of former US President Barack Obama, and declared white civilizations to be superior to all others.

In March 2017, King came under fire for saying that America cannot restore “our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” and for warning of a liberal effort to destroy Western civilization through immigration.

In December of that year, King tweeted a link to an article quoting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saying that “mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.” King repeated Orban’s quote, adding his own comment: “Diversity is not our strength.”

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