Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is barring Iowa’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, from covering his Election Night event, calling the paper a “leftist propaganda media outlet.”
The Register reported Tuesday that the congressman’s son, Jeff King, who is a campaign staffer, responded to the paper’s request for credentials in an email Tuesday morning.
“We are not granting credentials to the Des Moines Register or any other leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth,” Jeff King said in the email, according to the newspaper.
Carol Hunter, the paper’s executive editor, said in a statement Tuesday that the move by King’s campaign was “unfortunate because it not only shuts out the Des Moines Register reporter, but also the people of Iowa.”
A King spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawmaker has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks for his inflammatory rhetoric on race and immigration as well as what critics say is his embrace of white nationalism. He remains favored to win reelection, although his recent actions — including his endorsement of a white nationalist candidate for Toronto mayor and his meeting with members of a far-right Austrian party with historical Nazi ties — have earned him rebukes from the Anti-Defamation League, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and others.
On Monday, King again raised eyebrows when he stated at a campaign event that he hopes Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor “will elope to Cuba.”
He also reportedly made a veiled reference to Mexican immigrants as “dirt,” according to Weekly Standard assistant opinion editor Adam Rubenstein.
At an event last Friday in Forest City, Iowa, King criticized the NRCC for supporting a Republican candidate who is gay, according to a video posted by Andrew Bates, communications director for House campaigns at the liberal Democratic super PAC American Bridge.