In Trump’s America, Congressman Steve King’s antics have become increasingly unrestrained, something that’s been particularly evident on Twitter, where he has repeatedly made his white nationalist sympathies explicit. On Wednesday, King was as clear as he’s ever been, retweeting a quote from an account of a white supremacist website founded by a man who is fond of Adolf Hitler.
The account, for the website Defend Europa, tweeted an image of Viktor Orbán, the right-wing nationalist serving as prime minister of Hungary, with a quote attributed to him that reads, “A nation which expects its biological survival from immigrants won’t survive.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has uttered an axiom of history and of humanity. Western Civilization is the target of George Soros and the Left. https://t.co/ZuwtUOw6XC
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) November 22, 2017
Defend Europa was founded by Jason Bergkamp, one of several extremists whose messages Donald Trump shared on Twitter during his presidential campaign. Bergkamp, whose account has since been suspended, tweeted at Trump, “Your policies will make this state and country great again! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain,” along with a photo of Trump standing next to his daughter Ivanka.
Other messages Bergkamp shared were far less innocuous. In one, he retweeted a photo of Hitler with a quote from his last will and testament reading, “But my spirit will rise from the grave and the world shall know that I was right.”
In another tweet, Bergkamp shared an image depicting Trump as a Nazi gassing Hillary Clinton.
— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) April 20, 2016
King shared the Orbán tweet from Bergkamp’s Defend Europa website, adding his own message: “Prime Minister Viktor Orban has uttered an axiom of history and of humanity. Western Civilization is the target of George Soros and the Left.”
Soros, a billionaire philanthropist who has given to liberal causes in the United States and Europe, is a popular target of conservative political attacks and conspiracy theories (see Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s voter fraud fearmongering for another example).
He is also from Hungary, where Orbán’s authoritarian government has funded an anti-Soros campaign with anti-Semitic overtones claiming that 99 percent of the respondents of a government survey said they opposed immigrant settlements in the country. It was part of an ongoing series of “national consultations” arranged by Orbán, who has also used them to attack the European Union and its migrant policies.
For King, it was the latest of several times he has embraced Europe’s far right. He previously praised Orbán for “lead[ing] the way” against “Marxist billionaire Soros” and his alleged election meddling by proposing a law targeting organizations receiving funds from abroad — an effort to dismantle the Soros-founded Central European University in the capital of Budapest. Amnesty International condemned the proposed law as “draconian” and a “calculated assault on the rights to freedom of expression and association.” (King has also accused Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s State Department of funding Hungarian media opposed to Orbán.)
King was the first public US official to meet with Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front. He has met with leaders of Austria’s Freedom Party, which was founded in the 1950s by former Nazis, and later reunited with them to watch Trump’s inauguration together. And King’s also met with right-wing German nationalist Frauke Petry and Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders. It was Wilders who King approvingly referenced in his notorious “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” tweet that was endorsed by former Klansman David Duke.
Recently on Twitter, King has also made bizarre racial comments. In one, he suggested that slavery in the US was not as bad as slavery practiced by Muslims.
Confirmed in “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters” by Robert C. Davis-Ohio State University. As many as 1,250,000 whites enslaved by Muslims while 600,000 black Africans were enslaved in what is now the U.S. & 600,000 white Americans lost their lives in the struggle to end slavery. https://t.co/8hLl4chDaB — Steve King (@SteveKingIA) November 19, 2017
In another, King quoted a tweet from American Conservative co-founder Scott McConnell, who tweeted, “Being a minority will be awesome,” in response to another tweet with a video of a political rally in South Africa at which a black politician criticized whites protesting farm murders. “According to James Michener in “The Covenant” there were virtually no indigenous people in southern Africa when the Dutch arrived in the 16th century,” King wrote, citing a novel with misleading information. (In response, J.D. Scholten, one of King’s potential Democratic challengers in 2018, tweeted, “And in Zootopia, Judy Hopps learns how tough it is to be a rabbit on the police force…”)
According to James Michener in “The Covenant” there were virtually no indigenous people in southern Africa when the Dutch arrived in the 16th century. https://t.co/95AS8JrhCp
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) November 10, 2017