Police Arrest Man for Physical Assault on GOP Congressman Steve King

Police in Fort Dodge, Iowa, have arrested a man for physically assaulting Republican Congressman Steve King at a local restaurant.

Police say that a man approached the Congressman and threw water at him on Friday at around 12:30 p.m.

The congressman was having lunch with a group of people when Blake Gibbons, 26, of Lafayette, Colorado, came up to the party.

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“The water hit King and some others having lunch, police said. Based on witness information, it’s believed that King was specifically targeted because of his position as a U.S. congressman,” KCCI Channel 8 reported on Saturday.

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“Gibbins was arrested and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct,” KCCI added.

Police say that King identified Gibbons and the one who threw the water on him and his lunch companions.

King came under fire early in January for comments that were seen as supportive of “white nationalism” and “white supremacism” in comments he made to The New York Times.

The Times article was titled, “Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics,” tried to link King’s comments to his long-time support for tougher immigration laws.

In the article, the paper said:

Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office. (The same office once displayed a Confederate flag on his desk.)

At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.

“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King quickly came out with a statement rejecting those definitions. “I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define,” he said in the tweeted statement.

House Republicans removed him from all his committee assignments, however, efforts to take it even farther by voting to censure the Iowa Republican fizzled.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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