Steve King: Donald Trump is GOP 'leader' on immigration

Story highlights

  • Rep. Steve King, an influential Iowa conservative, called Donald Trump a GOP leader on immigration
  • King said he may endorse a presidential candidate, but hasn't yet settled on a pick

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN)Rep. Steve King, an influential conservative Republican from Iowa, said Monday he believes Donald Trump is leading the Republican presidential field when it comes to immigration.

"I think today he is the leader on immigration," King told CNN in an interview at the Iowa State Fair. "There's no question about that."
King said he was "very happy" to see Trump release his policy paper outlining his position on immigration and border security on Sunday and said many of the positions are based on bills and amendments he's introduced in Congress.
    "If there's going to be competition on the immigration issue among the other candidates, who's going to stand up now and say, 'I think we really ought to nominate someone who's for amnesty'?" King said.
    King has introduced a bill in Congress to end birthright citizenship, a proposal Trump outlined in his policy paper on Sunday. King added that he spoke with Trump staffers in the lead-up to Trump's release of his policy paper and he also praised Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama who advised Trump on his immigration policy.
    But the conservative Iowa congressman said that he is not yet prepared to endorse Trump, or any other candidate. Trump's Iowa state director previously served as an adviser to King and King has previously hosted Trump in Iowa. But King is also close with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and King's son recently joined a pro-Cruz super PAC.
    But King said Monday that he is considering more than just Cruz and Trump as potential GOP hopefuls he would endorse, but declined to say who else was on his list.
    "I hope to get to a position to endorse but I know from experience that it has to be a conviction. And so I'm working to get to a conviction," he said.