Washington, D.C. -- Iowa congressman Steve King is unconcerned about the implications of his appearance during a CPAC panel on "The Failure of Multiculturalism" featuring a white nationalist author, Peter Brimelow.
"I don't know anything about that," King, who came to the event to talk about his English Language Unity Act, told BuzzFeed -- though he'd earlier told Brimelow that "I've read all your books!".
Brimelow operates on the line between the mainstream conservative movement and an openly racist fringe. His book "Alien Nation," for instance, advanced the thesis that "Race is destiny in American politics," and that policies altering the American complexion are both wrong and against what voters desire. His website, VDare, regularly hosts more openly racist work, like Kevin MacDonald's claim that "Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies."
King added that he wasn't totally familiar with Brimelow's work.
"I've taken so much criticism on my life that has just been completely unjustified, you know, a fabrication of the hardcore left," King said. "I'd want to see whatever evidence that is before I comment on it."
When told that the white nationalist designation had come from the Southern Poverty Law Center, King laughed.
"I wouldn't take them seriously," he said. "No, not at all."
King follows the American Conservative Union in refusing to denounce the presence of white nationalists at CPAC -- sending a message that this year, extremist views like those of Brimelow are acceptable here.
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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