On Saturday, MSNBC’s Garrett Haake broke down the nightmare situation Republicans are facing with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has faced outrage for years of white supremacist comments, and more recently suggested that rape and incest might be a good thing for society.
“What more recourse do Republicans have?” said host David Gura. “We had this cycle of condemnation in the past after comments were made. He was stripped of committee assignments. Is there more Republicans can do vis-a-vis Steve King?”
“They could kick him out of of the conference entirely, make him a man without a country in the U.S. Congress,” said Haake. “Or Congress could vote to expel them with two-thirds of the vote.”
“There’s an interesting dynamic for Democrats in this case,” added Haake. “As odious as the comments are, the best possible thing that could happen for Democrats here is Steve King wins his primary in the spring here and remains the Republican nominee for that seat. He’s in a three-way primary right now. It’s a tough one for him to win. But that is Iowa’s most conservative district. Democrats have now finally gotten the candidate they want, J.D. Sholten. He’s back in the race. He has gotten a ton of support. He could win Iowa’s 4th District, be the first Democrat to represent it in a long time. But probably only if Steve King is the nominee.”
“So as much as Democrats and the rest of the country are offended by what Steve King has said this time, it may be the best possible political strategy for Democrats to hold their nose about this one and keep quiet on this and make sure Steve King holds on to the nomination for that seat, so their guy can beat him next fall.”
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Trump Appointee Told Veterans Affairs Diversity Chief Not to Condemn White Supremacists
In the immediate aftermath of the 2017 Charlottesville “alt-right” rally and violence that led to the killing of a young protestor, Heather Heyer, President Donald Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Chief Diversity Officer penned a statement condemning the extremist groups, including “white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan.”
A Trump appointee told her she couldn’t publish it.
The Washington Post reports John Ullyot, the VA’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, “sought to silence” Georgia Coffey, “a nationally recognized expert in workplace diversity and race relations.”
Coffey had wanted to send out the statement because many – 40 percent – of the VA’s 380,000 employees are minorities, and some had already reached out to her looking for support and guidance.
Ullyot told her she was free to share her personal opinions, but sent the message she was not to condemn the extremist hate groups if speaking for the VA. He cut that section out and suggested a replacement:
The Washington Post adds that Coffey decided to post her statement to an internal Veterans’ Affairs monthly communications online newsletter.
Her statement was scrubbed from the document, and she was reportedly reprimanded.
Coffey soon “retired,” and is now the senior manager for diversity and inclusion at a top defense contractor, Lockheed Martin.
Read the full Washington Post report here.
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