Pelosi says there's 'interest' in taking action on Steve King

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts Ellen DeGeneres buys cheesecakes from furloughed federal workers who were baking to make ends meet Trump teases 'major announcement' about shutdown on Saturday MORE (D-Calif.) suggested Friday that the House will take some punitive action against Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments Steve King's primary challenger raises more than 0k in first 10 days of campaign GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism MORE (R-Iowa), who’s under fire from both parties for recent comments defending the “white supremacist” label.
 
“We’ll see what we do about Steve King, but nonetheless, nothing is shocking anymore, right? The new normal around here is to praise white supremacists and nationalism as something that shouldn’t be shunned,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. 
 
Pressed about what specific action the House might take, Pelosi declined to get into details. 
 
“I’m not prepared to make any announcement about that right now,” she said. “But needless to say, there’s interest in doing something.”
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King has come under fire for incendiary remarks in the past, but is facing the strongest blowback yet over comments he made Thursday in an interview with The New York Times, when he questioned why certain terms like "white supremacist" have been deemed racist.
  
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he asked in the Times interview.
 
King attempted to defuse the controversy on Friday, saying during a speech on the House floor that he regrets “the heartburn” his remarks have caused in Congress and Iowa.
 
"One phrase in that long article has created an unnecessary controversy. That was my mistake," King said. "I've never been anti-immigrant. I have been anti-illegal immigrant, and I remain that way.” 
 
First elected to Congress in 2002, King has long been known for his hard-line positions on immigration enforcement and his controversial characterizations of those living in the country illegally, which some have panned as racist.
 
His latest comments about white nationalism prompted an outcry from a long list of lawmakers, including a number of Republican leaders.
 
“When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole,” Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottIf Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy MORE (R-S.C.), who is African-American, wrote Friday in a Washington Post op-ed.  
 
Pelosi on Friday noted controversial comments from King in the past, but also alluded to some of the incendiary remarks that have emanated from the White House in recent years, which have included racially charged comments from the president himself.
 
“He’s said terrible things,” Pelosi said of King. “Terrible things have been said by other people in this administration, as well.”