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Steve King takes aim at Joni Ernst for criticizing Trump tweet deemed racist

U.S. Rep. Steve King speaks Jan. 31, 2016, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
U.S. Rep. Steve King speaks Jan. 31, 2016, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Steve King took a swipe Tuesday at U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst after his fellow Iowa Republican spoke out against President Donald Trump’s controversial tweet that four minority Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from.

“@SenJoniErnst it’s ‘not constructive’ to advance AOC’s #MobSquad #FakeNews narrative against @realDonaldTrump whose policies have lifted up ALL Americans,” King said in a tweet.

The tweet referenced Ernst’s statement that said Trump’s comments “were not constructive” and “not helpful.”

Pressed by reporters Tuesday if she thought Trump’s remarks were racist, Ernst replied, “Yeah, I do.”

The first-term senator also acknowledged Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are all American citizens and all but Omar, a native of Somalia, were born in the United States.

Later Tuesday, the U.S. House voted 240-187 to condemn Trump for “racist comments” against the four minority Democratic congresswomen, a symbolic measure aimed at shaming Trump and his fellow Republicans who stood by him.

King voted against the resolution.

Reps. Will Hurd of Texas, Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan Brooks of Indiana and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania were the only four GOP members to support the resolution, which said Trump’s tweets “have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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