Rep. Steve King said he drank water out of a toilet at a migrant detention facility and it was ‘pretty good’

Republican Rep. Steve King has often come under scrutiny for making racially charged remarks.

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Republican Rep. Steve King has often come under scrutiny for making racially charged remarks.
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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

  • Republican Rep. Steve King said he recently drank water from a toilet that also served as a fountain at a migrant detention facility and did not describe the experience in a negative light.
  • “I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King said at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa. “I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good.”
  • King has a long history of making racist and offensive remarks and has largely been ostracized in Congress as a result.
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Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa on Wednesday said he recently drank water from a toilet that also served as a fountain at a migrant detention facility as he dismissed criticism from human-rights groups and other lawmakers over the conditions immigrants are being held in.

King said he thought the water from the toilet that also served as a fountain was “pretty good,” NBC News reported.

“I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King said at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa. “I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good.”

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in July accused Border Patrol of forcing migrant women to drink out of toilets while detained. The Trump administration subsequently accused Ocasio-Cortez of lying.

Read more: ‘We’ve seen this coming’: Why migrant children are dying in Border Patrol custody

“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities. It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after touring detention facilities in South Texas. “People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.”

Ocasio-Cortez also sparked a heated debate in June by referring to the detention facilities as concentration camps.

Two dozen people, including migrant children, have died in federal custody in the Trump era, amid reports of horrific conditions at detention facilities.

King on Wednesday said reports that migrants have been forced to drink from toilets were a result of “misinformation.”

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Trump’s migrant detention centers ‘concentration camps’ and his administration ‘fascist,’ igniting a fierce debate online

“In the back where the lid would be on our toilet, that’s also sealed. And there’s a water fountain there, you push the button, the water comes out, and you take a drink, it’s how it is,” King said. “It’s not drinking out of the toilet, it’s drinking out of the water fountain that’s integral with the back of the toilet.”

“But I think there was a little language barrier there and so that’s how come we got that misinformation,” he added.

King also tweeted a video of him drinking from the toilet-fountain hybrid in which he criticized Ocasio-Cortez.

King has a long history of making racist and offensive remarks and has largely been ostracized in Congress as a result. In a January interview, for example, King questioned why terms like white supremacy and white nationalism had “become offensive.”