Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) shared a video of himself drinking from a toilet fountain on Wednesday during a recent visit to a border facility, claiming that his sip was “actually pretty good.”
“I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King told a crowd of about 80 people at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa, according to NBC News. “I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good. So I have a videotape and I smacked my lips.”
King’s drink of water – which came from a toilet that also serves as a water fountain – came in response to claims that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have made about the deplorable conditions inside of migrant detention facilities in Texas, as the report notes.
King actually directly referenced Ocasio-Cortez, sometimes affectionately called “AOC” in his tweet, tagging the congresswoman quipping, “No way was [Ocasio-Cortez] objectively honest in her #FakeNews spin about the border. Click bait for Snowflakes!”
After a visit to two separate facilities in July, Ocasio-Cortez had said that she discovered that Customs and Border Patrol officers were telling women in the facilities to “drink out of the toilet.”
King attempted to break down what he viewed as the whole drinking out of the toilet scenario, saying “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 noted that this type of system is also used in prisons, with the toilets and the fountains being made out of stainless steel “so that they are semi indestructible by the inmates.”
“It’s not drinking out of the toilet,” he added. “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.”
Ocasio-Cortez quickly fired back on Wednesday night, suggesting that King “clearly didn’t read sworn testimony that detention sinks were broken.”
“There is a genre of videos where GOP House members – who clearly didn’t read sworn testimony that detention sinks were broken- filming themselves drinking out of toilet sinks,” she tweeted.
As The Hill notes, and as Ocasio-Cortez noted in her tweets, she was told by detained migrants that they were specifically told that the fountains were broken, only for personnel to tell them to drink from the toilet bowl instead.
“They’re so anti-immigrant they risk pink eye to show off that they didn’t do the reading,” the congresswoman added.