Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, came under fire for comparing the treatment he received from recent controversial remarks to Jesus’ suffering.
Rep. King spoke at a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa, Tuesday where he responded to a comment from a pastor who told King she was concerned that “Christianity is really being persecuted, and it’s starting right here in the United States,” the Des Moines Register reported.
“For all that I’ve been through and it seems even strange for me to say it but I’m at a certain peace,” King answered. “And it’s because of a lot of prayers for me. And when I had to step I have to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives, and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know we just passed through Easter and Christ's passion — and I have better insight into what He went through for us, partly because of that experience.”
The congressman was referring to the scrutiny he came under following his racially charged remarks in a New York Times interview that was published earlier this year.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the newspaper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Not too long after, King was stripped of his committee assignments by his fellow House Republicans.
"We will not tolerate this type of language in the Republican Party ... or in the Democratic Party as well," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said at the time. "I watched what Steve King said and we took action."
King insisted that his comments had been "completely mischaracterized" and blasted McCarthy for what King called "a political decision that ignores the truth." He said he would not step down for his position and was planning on running for reelection in 2020.
King’s latest comments were slammed by social media users.
Jon Cooper, the chairman of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump tweeted, “Steve King says he understands how Jesus Christ felt after months of criticism in the House for King’s comments defending white nationalism. No, I’m not friggin’ kidding you – he really said that!”
“Oh, that is rich,” “Star Trek” star George Takei tweeted.
Comedian Marie Connor tweeted, “Steve King should be charged with victim card fraud.”
Former Congressman Joe Walsh wrote, “Uh…no Steve King. Don’t compare yourself to Jesus Christ. Don’t say you’ve suffered like Jesus Christ suffered. Please don’t do that.”
Fox News' Matt Richardson and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.