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Republicans slam Rep. King for what they call racist remarks

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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Thursday criticized a fellow GOP lawmaker for making what they said were “racist” comments.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa was quoted in The New York Times saying, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The comment drew a denunciation from members of House Republican leadership.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican, said King’s remarks were “abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse.”

Another Republican, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, tweeted, “This is an embrace of racism, and it has no place in Congress or anywhere.”

King later issued a statement saying he is neither a white nationalist nor a white supremacist.

“I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives,” he said. “Under any fair political definition, I am simply a Nationalist.”

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, also weighed in.

“It’s offensive to try to legitimize those terms. I think it’s important that he rejected that kind of evil, because that’s what it is, it’s evil ideology,” he said.

In 2014, Scalise apologized after he was found to have addressed a white supremacist group in 2002 founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise said he didn’t know of the group’s racial views.

It’s not the first time some Republicans have denounced King, nor the first time King has said his intent is to defend “Western civilization.”

“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” he tweeted in 2017. Then he doubled down on CNN, telling the network, “I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogeneous that we look a lot the same.”

King’s standing in the Republican Party was imperiled even before his latest remarks. Just ahead of last year’s midterm elections, the chairman of the House GOP’s campaign arm issued an extraordinary public denunciation of him.

“Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate,” tweeted Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, then the chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee. “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”

Despite the criticism, King narrowly won re-election in November. But he’s already facing a challenge from within his own party in the next election.

Randy Feenstra, a Republican state senator, announced Wednesday that he plans to run against King in 2020. King has represented the district since 2013.

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Trump Says He’ll Make a ‘Major Announcement’ Saturday Afternoon About Shutdown, Border

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Washington (AP) — Trump says he will make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday afternoon about the government shutdown and border security.

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Trump Administration Separated Thousands More Migrants Than Previously Known

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The Trump Administration separated thousands more migrant kids from their families at the border than it previously acknowledged, and the separations started months before the policy was announced, according to a federal audit released Thursday morning.

“More children over a longer period of time” were separated at the border than commonly known, an investigator with the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office told reporters Thursday morning.

“How many more children were separated is unknown, by us and HHS” because of failures to track families as they were being separated, he said.

HHS officials involved in caring for the separated children and reunifying families estimated “thousands” of additional children are separated at the border, the inspector general said.

The report sheds new light on the Trump administration’s efforts to deter border crossings by separating migrant families. House Democrats who’ve condemned the separations as inhumane have vowed to investigate the administration’s handling of the policy and its health effects on separated children, and the inspector general said additional investigations are in the works.

The inspector general report said some family separations continued, even after President Donald Trump in June 2018 ended the policy amid uproar and a federal court ordered his administration to reunify the families. The June 2018 court order called on the administration to reunify about 2,500 separated children in government custody. Most of those families were reunited within 30 days.

However, HHS received at least 118 separated children between July and early November, according to the report. DHS provided “limited” information about the reason for those separations. In slightly more than half of those cases, border officials cited the parent’s criminal history as a reason to separate the families, although they did not always provide details. The court order requiring reunifications said family separations should only occur if border officials could specify when parents posed possible dangers to children or were otherwise unfit to care for them, the inspector general noted.

Federal investigators said they had no details about how many of the “thousands of separated children” who entered the care of HHS before the June 2018 court order had been reunited.

“We have no information about the status of the children who were released prior to the court order,” Maxwell told reporters. [POLITICO]

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Prince Phillip Involved in Car Crash

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#BREAKING Duke of Edinburgh involved in car crash near Sandringham Estate but not injured, Buckingham Palace says.

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