'What's Wrong With Racism Anyway?' Trevor Noah Hilariously Mocks Congressman Steve King's Lackluster White Supremacism Denial

On Thursday night's Daily Show, Trevor Noah mocked Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for comments he made regarding white supremacism and white nationalism in a New York Times article.

"King has often faced accusations of racism," the host said. "Now that's mostly because of all the racist stuff he says, but today he defended himself by saying 'What's wrong with racism anyway?'"

Read more: Republican Steve King wonders how "white supremacist" became offensive

In the Times interview, which examined King's history of nativist politics, the representative said he supports immigrants who enter the U.S. legally and fully assimilate, claiming that the "culture of America," which he says is based on the values brought over by white Europeans, mattered more than race.

"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?" King told the Times. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"

Following the publication of the article, King—a Trump ally—defended himself in a statement posted on his official Twitter account.

"Today the New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy," he wrote. "I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology they define.

"It's true that like the Founding Fathers I am an advocate for Western Civilization's values, and that I profoundly believe that America is the greatest tangible expression of these ideals the world has ever seen," he said. "Under any fair political definition, I am simply a Nationalist. As I told the New York Times, 'it's not about race; It's never been about race.'"

In response to his defense, Noah impersonated King, joking: "Yeah, I'm not a racist, you n*****s need to calm down!"

"Now I know it sounds bad," the host continued, "but at least he didn't do something truly unforgivable like saying mother****r or dancing on a rooftop once"—a sarcastic reference to two incidents involving new congress members which caused a stir recently: an anonymous Twitter account posting a video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) dancing on a rooftop while she was in college and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) describing Trump as a "motherf****r."

King's comment in the Times article prompted criticism by many on social media, including a handful of conservative figures.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), for example, tweeted: "These comments are abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse."

Meanwhile, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro—who once defended King against media accusations of racism in a Daily Wire article—tweeted: "Congress ought to vote to censure him, and then he ought to be primaried ASAP."

This is not the first time in recent months that King has courted controversy. For example, he lent his support to a mayoral candidate for Toronto, Faith Goldy, who has expressed white nationalist views. He has also retweeted white supremacist and neo-Nazi accounts on multiple occasions.

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) speaks during a hearing where Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before the House Judiciary Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images