Now playing
01:04
Steve King: I can relate to what Christ 'went through'
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) attends a congressional tribute to the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who lies in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on February 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. Officer Sicknick died as a result of injuries he sustained during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He will lie in honor until February 3 and then be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)
Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) attends a congressional tribute to the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who lies in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on February 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. Officer Sicknick died as a result of injuries he sustained during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He will lie in honor until February 3 and then be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:18
'This is just the beginning': CNN reporter on Cheney's move
Caitlyn Jenner
CNN
Caitlyn Jenner
Now playing
03:24
Caitlyn Jenner: Biden is our president. I respect that
CNN
Now playing
02:36
Hear Biden's response to Colonial Pipeline attack
Now playing
02:06
Kinzinger says McCarthy dismissed warnings about post-election violence
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 01: Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett (right) works to move ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa County ballot recount comes after two election audits found no evidence of widespread fraud in Arizona.  (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 01: Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett (right) works to move ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa County ballot recount comes after two election audits found no evidence of widespread fraud in Arizona. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:29
'Like witchcraft': The strange methods Republicans are using in recount
CNN
Now playing
01:42
'I saw it on TV!': Why Trump supporter says she believes election lie
Getty/CNN
Now playing
04:31
'Truly, madly, deeply false': Keilar fact-checks Ron Johnson's vaccine claim
Kevin McCarthy 05092021
Fox News
Kevin McCarthy 05092021
Now playing
03:30
Watch McCarthy confirm support for Stefanik for GOP leadership post
Now playing
03:12
Al Franken: Republicans always find an excuse to cut unemployment benefits
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28:  Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:15
Trump issues bizarre statement about Kentucky Derby winner
Now playing
03:06
Clyburn: McConnell contributing in a big way to GOP identity crisis
Now playing
01:12
Utah GOP governor defends Republican push to end enhanced unemployment
CNN
Now playing
01:24
Acosta remembers WH Christmas memory with Obamas' dog Bo
Now playing
04:29
Smerconish: Joint rally of GOP's 2 lightning rods a troublesome sign
CNN Photo Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
02:26
Asian American diplomats say discrimination holds them back
(CNN) —  

Rep. Steve King said Tuesday he can relate to the suffering of Jesus Christ, seemingly equating his recent controversies to what Christ “went through for us.”

“For all that I’ve been through – and it seems even strange for me to say it – but I am at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me,” King said at a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa.

“And, when I have to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives, and look up at those 400-and-some accusers, you know we just passed through Easter and Christ’s passion, and I have better insight into what He went through for us partly because of that experience.”

The hours before Jesus’ crucifixion are referred to as Christ’s passion and reference the events – including torture and intense public shaming – that he went through before being nailed to the cross. For Christians, the Easter season is a time of remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice, ultimately leading to his death and his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

An Iowa Republican with a history of racist remarks, King was likely referring to being stripped of his committee assignments and rebuked by members of his own party after giving an interview with The New York Times in January in which he made racist comments.

In the article, King, as part of a defense of what he said was the “culture of America,” asked how certain terms had become controversial in modern discourse.

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

King said on the House floor in January that he rejected the ideology of white nationalism and he maintains that his comments were misinterpreted.

Despite the controversy, King refused to step aside from his post in Congress and announced in February he’ll run for reelection in 2020. He won his race in 2018 by 3.6 percentage points.

In an interview with “Iowa Press” on Iowa Public Television, King said he has “nothing to apologize for.”

“We know what the news media has done continuously,” King said. “Each thing starts out with some formerly credible organization that launches this. And then we have this phenomenon that America is not ready for and that’s this cyberbullying that unleashes.”

King’s comments to The New York Times are not his only brush with controversy over race.

He has previously retweeted a Nazi sympathizer and has sponsored a white nationalist fringe candidate for Toronto mayor.

In March 2017, King tweeted, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” later telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he “meant exactly what I said.”

And during an interview with a far right Austrian publication in 2018, King suggested that immigration and diversity brought risks.

“What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have? Mexican food. Chinese food,” King said at the time. “Those things, well, that’s fine, but what does it bring that we don’t have that is worth the price?”

CNN’s Katie Bernard and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.