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Sen. Tim Scott (L) and Rep. Steve King (R). Photos: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call and Alex Wong via Getty Images

Republican Sen. Tim Scott criticized the GOP's response to racism in a Washington Post op-ed, specifically calling out Republican officials' silence on Rep. Steve King’s comments in a New York Times article that questioned why terms like "white supremacist" are considered offensive.

What he's saying: "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said. ... When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole."

  • "Immigration is the perfect example, in which somehow our affection for the rule of law has become conflated with a perceived racism against brown and black people."
  • "King’s comments are not conservative views but separate views that should be ridiculed at every turn possible."

The big picture: Some prominent Republicans have spoken out against King, including GOP conference chair Liz Cheney, who tweeted that the comments were "abhorrent" and "racist." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash have denounced King's comments as well.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Top Chinese diplomat warns Biden against meddling in country's affairs

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Greg Baker - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a speech on Sunday warned the U.S. against getting involved in China's "internal affairs," saying that "both sides need to abide by the principle of non-interference," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a hardline approach with China. Tensions between the U.S. and China had heightened for years under the Trump administration.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.