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Audio has surfaced of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) referring to Central American immigrants as “dirt.” Conservative publication the Weekly Standard made the audio public after they published a story about comments King made before a campaign event in Webster City, Iowa. King denied making the offensive comments.
King referred to “dirt” from Mexico to use in his garden.
“I guess I’m going to have to go get some dirt from Mexico to grow the next batch,” King says in the recording, talking with a supporter and apparently referring to peppers he grew in his home garden.
“Trust me, it’s already on its way,” the supporter jokes back.
“This is the most dirt we’ve ever seen,” King says, before apparently noticing a nearby reporter who may have heard the exchange.
King’s campaign said in an email to the Weekly Standard that, “If you spent anytime [sic] with Congressman King throughout the district over this past week you would know that he has been referencing all the ‘dirt’ the dishonest, leftist media have been using to attack him.” King’s campaign spokesperson, Jeff King, is also his son.
King tweeted, “The Weekly ‘NO’ Standard(s) has joined HuffPo at the bottom of the lying journalistic gutter,” on Nov. 9, after the Weekly Standard’s article came out.
“No question that now their purpose is to write willful lies to advance a Leftist agenda. We threw this WS writer out after he disqualified himself.”
The Weekly “NO” Standard(s) has joined HuffPo at the bottom of the lying journalistic gutter. No question that now their purpose is to write willful lies to advance a Leftist agenda. We threw this WS writer out after he disqualified himself. https://t.co/05k0KMnkld— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) November 9, 2018
“Our reporting wouldn’t focus on your bigotry if you weren’t a bigot,” the Standard’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Hayes shot back.
The Weekly Standard remains, proudly, a reporting-driven, conservative journal of opinion. @RubensteinAdam is a great reporter. There are no lies, willful or otherwise. The story is accurate and very well told. Our reporting wouldn't focus on your bigotry if you weren't a bigot. https://t.co/5K7Ace22Eq— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) November 10, 2018
King also accused the Weekly Standard, a bastion of old-school conservative thought, of being “Antifa News.”
King narrowly held on to his seat in the House during last week’s midterm elections, facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from J.D. Scholten. King has a history of saying incredibly racist things and associating with far-right groups.
H/T The Hill
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.