GOP senator: Rep. King’s racial remarks hurt Republicans, US

GOP senator: Rep. King’s racial remarks hurt Republicans, US
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., walks as they work to pass a bill that would pay for President Donald Trump's border wall and avert a partial government shutdown, on Capitol Hill, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Source: Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iowa Republican congressman Steve King says he's not a racist, but he's facing heavy criticism from his party over his remarks about white supremacy.

King on Friday said from the House floor that he is an advocate for "Western civilization," not white supremacy or white nationalism. But he didn't deny remarks published a day earlier in The New York Times in which he is quoted saying: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?"

King said terms describing bigotry, such as racism, are unfairly applied to "innocent" people.

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina wrote in The Washington Post on Friday that people with King’s opinions “damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole.”