House speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) issued a statement supporting majority whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) amid reports that Scalise spoke at a conference organized by white supremacists in 2002.
“More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate,” Boehner said in a statement. “Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.”
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy joined Boehner in standing with Scalise, and released a statement calling Scalise a longtime friend that he knows does not share the views of white supremacists. Several other high-profile Republicans including Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and Representative Steve King (R., Iowa) have also backed Scalise as pressure mounted on him to relinquish his leadership position.