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King on suicide pilot: ‘I understand the deep frustration with the I.R.S.’
U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, released a statement Tuesday in response to criticism he’s facing after twice expressing empathy for a man who flew a plane into an Internal Revenue Service building last week.
King’s comments, first documented by the liberal blog Talking Points Memo and then captured on video by liberal blog Think Progress, drew immediate outrage. Among other things, King said if the U.S. had abolished the I.R.S “back when I first advocated it, he wouldn’t have a target for his airplane.”
Fifteen people were injured in the suicide attack, with one man — a military veteran — killed.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., the third ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, called King’s statement’s “appalling” during a speech on the House floor Tuesday.
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents I.R.S. workers, called on King to “retract and apologize for his ill-conceived statements concerning the tragic event that took place in Austin.”
King’s office released the following statement regarding his remarks:
As a founder of a small business who has endured I.R.S. audits, I understand the deep frustration with the I.R.S. In the early days, my company could not run without me on the job. I once had to shut it down just to be in the room with the I.R.S. I did not get a fair shake, but I channeled my frustration the American way and ran for office. Americans looking for an outlet for their frustration should join me in calling on Congress to pass a national sales tax and abolish the current federal tax code and the I.R.S.