Representative Steve King of Iowa, a Republican with a history of making inflammatory and racist statements about immigrants and promoting white nationalist views, drew criticism on Tuesday after retweeting a British activist who is a prominent Nazi sympathizer and has described himself as an admirer of Hitler.
The activist, Mark Collett, is the former chairman of the Young BNP, the youth arm of the far-right British National Party, and like Mr. King he has often warned that influxes of immigrants pose a danger to Western countries.
Mr. Collett’s tweet was a screenshot of a Breitbart article titled “Vast Majority of Under-35 Italians Now Oppose Mass Migration,” and his commentary: “65% of Italians under the age of 35 now oppose mass immigration. Europe is waking up...”
Mr. King’s retweet included a comment of his own: “Europe is waking up...Will America...in time?” As of Wednesday afternoon, it had not been taken down.
Mr. Collett was the subject of a 2002 documentary on Channel 4 in Britain titled “Young, Nazi and Proud.” In it, he says that AIDS is a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it,” HuffPost reported.
Nick Ryan, a spokesman for an anti-racism advocacy group based in Britain, Hope Not Hate, told HuffPost that “no mainstream politician in their right mind should be retweeting Mark Collett.”
Mr. King’s office declined to comment on the matter.
It was not the first time Mr. King, who was elected to Congress in 2002 and has displayed a Confederate battle flag on his desk in Washington, has promoted extreme anti-immigrant or white nationalist views.
In 2013, he said that for every child of undocumented immigrants “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
But his comment drew praise from other figures, like the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
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