Congressional Record Error Botches King “Quote” Just Like The New York Times

From King’s Office:

Congressman Steve King released the following information which shows how easily an error in transcription could have led to the botched and disputed “quote” attributed to him by the liberal New York Times. King notes that the exact same error was made by the Congressional Record in the transcription of floor remarks he gave on January 15. King has consistently contested the accuracy of the “quote” attributed to him in the Times. The Times’ “quote” cannot be validated as no tape exists that would back the Times’ spurious claim, and the paper refuses to release the notes of the 56 minute long interview.

Publicly available video does exist, however, for floor remarks King delivered on January 15 during debate on the Clyburn Resolution. In his statement, King explained his remarks and went into detail about how he believes they were presented to the Times. The Congressional Record is charged with accurately portraying the debate that occurs on the floor, however a comparison with the video of King’s remarks shows that the Congressional Record’s account did not accurately portray King’s statement. In fact, in transcribing King’s floor remarks without noting his explicit break in the answer, the Congressional Record made the exact same error that the New York Times did.

  • The Disputed New York Times Quote:

“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?”

Note: In these remarks, King explicitly places a break between the words “White Nationalist, White Supremacist” and “Western Civilization.” King has never attempted to equate the two odious beliefs that preface the remarks with Western Civilization.

  • The Congressional Record Makes A Familiar Transcription Error:

Here is how the Congressional Record  (Page H575, January 15 2019) originally presented the remarks King gave on the floor:


Compare this quote to the video linked above. In this quote, the Congressional Record makes no reference to the long pause that King inserted between “supremacist” and “Western”. Instead, they mistakenly reproduce the disputed quote in the exact same way that the New York Times did, even though they had the benefit of hearing King explain why that quote was inaccurate.

Clearly, the video shows that King did not deliver his floor remarks in the way they appear in the Congressional Record. King made an explicit point on the House floor of breaking the sentence up, by allowing silence to serve as a hyphen might. Despite this effort, the Congressional Record’s account of the statement makes no suggestion that any such break or pause in the dialogue occurred.

King has taken corrective action to ensure that the Congressional Record accurately reflects the statement he delivered on the floor. The following is the text of a letter King sent to Speaker Pelosi asking for a correction.

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