After a week that saw multiple businesses cut ties with him over his claim that Mexican illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, reality TV star Donald Trump has found an ally in Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.
The Republican congressman in an interview Wednesday morning seemed to defend the 2016 GOP presidential candidate's controversial remarks last month on illegal immigration.
"I would say to Donald Trump, I appreciate the scrappiness of him," King said when asked to comment of the real estate mogul's comments. "When he's attacked by other people, he counterattacks and plunges forward and he delivers more facts to support the statement that he's made."
When Trump launched his presidential campaign in June, he promised to tackle the United State's immigration system by building a wall on the southern border. He also took a shot at Mexico for supposedly dumping its problems on America.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best; they're not sending you," Trump said. "They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
King appeared to defend these remarks Wednesday, saying that it's necessary sometimes to say things "real plain," rather than mincing words.
The congressman added that many of the young illegal immigrants coming to the United States from Central America have been "sexually violated and raped."
"I'd say in Donald Trump's defense, someone's doing that to these kids that are being raped and abused," King said, echoing similar comments made earlier this week by Trump. "And, when they're coming across Mexico, it's a reasonable assumption to conclude the people doing that are Mexicans."
Neither Trump nor King has explained how the crossing of abused illegal immigrants into the United States supports the claim that Mexico is offloading its rapists on its northern neighbor.
CNN's Chris Cuomo said, "Saying that you care about border security is one thing. Saying that the people that come across this border are rapists, druggies and criminals is not just statistically untrue, but just unfair on some level, don't you agree with that?"
King hedged his answer, saying things get "distorted" sometimes.
Univision, the most-watched Spanish language television network in the United States, announced last month that it would cut ties with Trump. NBCUniversal soon followed suit. Macy's announced Wednesday that it would stop carrying Trump's clothing line.