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Congressman sparks social media storm with racist tweet

Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa.

A Republican congressman has sparked a social media storm with a provocative tweet endorsing far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders ahead of Wednesday's general elections in the Netherlands.

The tweet sent on Sunday by Iowa's Republican Representative, Steven King, was interpreted as racist by many on the social media platform, who read overtones of white nationalism in the message which read:

"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

Wilders is no stranger to controversy, having raised some hackles last year upon posing the question of which 'subgroup' had done more for civilization than white people.

King has also devoted substantial energies to a quest to radically reform the current interpretation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution which automatically extends U.S. citizenship rights to any child born within the country. The Republican Congressman believes the children of undocumented immigrants should be denied the automatic right to a passport.

King faced a media barrage after bucketing these children of undocumented immigrants as criminals back in 2013.

While Sunday's tweet prompted cries of protest from some Democrats, including David Cicilline, Representative for Rhode Island who denounced the comments as "shameful", the Republican party has so far been silent on the matter.

Indeed, the party seems to have been largely unfazed by the continued enthusiasm with which President Donald Trump has approached Twitter since assuming the top job in the U.S. in late January, with the party's press machine seemingly allowing Trump free rein to frequently express his views on the platform, even when controversial and despite the factual accuracy of the content being questioned on occasion.

Furthermore, Breitbart News, the conservative news organization formerly headed by President Trump's senior adviser Steve Bannon, has often thrown its support behind far right political leaders in Europe, including Wilders.

Despite the backlash, King's inflammatory tweet was warmly received in some Twitter circles with the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacy group tweeting, "GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!"

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