Iowa Representative Steve King, who's own extreme right views have become more visible in recent months, met with representatives of a far-right party in Austria -- and used the financial backing of a Holocaust memorial group to do so.
Rep. King was interviewed for a publication associated with the Freedom Party in Austria, which has historical ties to Nazis, on the 24th of August, a day after a five day trek through Poland to tour Holocaust sites in Poland, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp operated by the Nazis during World War II.
A nonprofit educational group, From The Depths, funded the trip through Poland. The organization underwrote the flight to and from Europe for Rep. King.
From The Depths works to educate lawmakers about the Holocaust.
Rep. King was interviewed by the website Unzensuriert, a publication of the Freedom Party. The party was funded by a former SS officer under the Nazis, and who's current leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, was tied to the neo-Nazi movement in his youth.
Rep. King doesn't consider the Freedom Party to be extremist.
"That's not a fringe group,” said Rep. King to the Washington Post. “I have identified them and counted them as friends and allies well before they were winning elections. But that's a good thing to build those relationships before they come to power."
The Freedom Party has taken a very hard line stance on immigration, and has recently been strengthening its ties to far-right leaders outside of Austria.
Rep. King personally funded the trip to Austria for the interview, but the majority of the expenses were paid for by From The Depths. The group did not know of Rep. King's additional travels in Europe.
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