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Rep. Steve King Promotes New Civil War With Violent, Transphobic Meme

Steve King

"One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use," says the meme showing red and blue states battling it out.

Racist, anti-LGBTQ Congressman Steve King of Iowa posted a transphobic, violence-promoting meme Sunday to posit that conservative states would win a second Civil War.

The meme, which the Republican representative posted on Facebook but now deleted, used maps of red and blue states to create two figures fighting each other. "Folks keep talking about another Civil War," wording on the image read. "One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn't know which bathroom to use." In sharing the meme, King added the caption "Wonder who would win..." and a smirking emoji. It's unclear who created the meme.

King deleted the post Monday, when he also tweeted about the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying, "We stand against hatred in all its forms." But King doesn't have a record of doing that. In a January interview with The New York Times, he said, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" He was stripped of his committee assignments after making that remark, although he quickly backtracked on it. He said he was a "nationalist," not a white nationalist or white supremacist, and that he rejects "those labels and the evil ideology that they define."

But that was hardly the first hateful comment of his career. King, a member of the U.S. House since 2003, has said undocumented immigrants have "calves the size of cantaloupes" because they're hauling huge drug shipments; that same-sex couples are not a "natural family"; that transgender military members would be unable to defend Western civilization; and that only white people are responsible for creating that civilization. King posted the meme two days after the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques, in which the accused gunman is believed to be a white supremacist.

King has not responded to requests from CNN and other media outlets on the "Civil War" meme. But reaction to it was swift and condemnatory. Richard Painter, who was a chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, called it "treason."

Many others joined in denouncing King.

And some pointed out that King's own state -- which in presidential elections sometimes votes red, sometimes blue -- is part of the blue figure.

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