WASHINGTON The White House said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump does not agree with a controversial tweet on immigration and birth rates by Republican Representative Steve King.
"The president believes that this is not a point of view that he shares. He believes he's the president for all Americans," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing.
The Iowa lawmaker drew condemnation from Democrats and fellow Republicans after his tweet on Sunday praising Geert Wilders, a nationalist, anti-Islam politician vying to become the Netherlands' prime minister in a national election on Wednesday. [nL5N1GP083]
"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," King wrote in a post that drew thousands of "likes."
House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called on House Republican leaders to strip King of his chairmanship of the constitution subcommittee for "his latest disgusting and racist statements."
On Monday, she said they "must decide whether white supremacy is welcome in the GOP ranks."
A spokeswoman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, AshLee Strong, said on Monday, "The speaker clearly disagrees (with King) and believes America's long history of inclusiveness is one of its great strengths."
King, an early supporter of Trump in last year's presidential election, defended his tweet in an interview on CNN on Monday. He pointed to Western Europe, where he said low birth rates were harming civilization, culture and values.
"I'd like to see an America that is just so homogenous that we look a lot the same," he said. "I think there's far too much focus on race, especially in the last eight years. I want to see that put behind us." [nL2N1GQ14I]
(Reporting by Eric Walsh)