UPDATE: Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg reported that the person recommended for the ambassadorship is a “Different Steve King, Trump aides tell me.” A source told Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson that the story may be about a Wisconsin Republican National Committeeman named Steve King. Iowa’s representative in Congress told Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg he’s not up for a State Department position.
SECOND UPDATE: My husband contacted one of the Hospodarske Noviny reporters to let him know their story was about the wrong Steve King. The journalist e-mailed back to say that they had their doubts, but their sources spoke of a Congressman Steve King. King’s office did not respond to their request for comment.
THIRD UPDATE: Hospodarsky Noviny has posted a corrected story.
Original post follows after the jump:
Citing two unnamed separate Czech diplomatic sources, the Czech financial newspaper Hospodarske Noviny reported today that Representative Steve King (IA-04) might be President Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. The sources told the newspaper that two weeks ago, American diplomats submitted King’s name to the Czech Foreign Ministry for their consent. The U.S. embassy in Prague declined to comment on the story.
Hospodarske Noviny’s headline described King as “an admirer of European radicals [Marine] Le Pen and [Geert] Wilders.” King is on friendly terms with Norbert Hofer, last year’s presidential candidate for the far-right Freedom Party in Austria, as well as with anti-immigrant German politician Frauke Petry and anti-Islam Dutch politician Wilders. He met with Le Pen, leader of the far-right French party National Front, earlier this year and wished her luck in the recent presidential election runoff.
I’m not aware of King endorsing any far-right Czech politicians. Czech President Milos Zeman, who used to be a Social Democrat, is no longer affiliated with a major political party. He has spoken very favorably of Trump over the past year.
Hospodarske Noviny also noted that among U.S. states, Iowa has one of the largest percentages of residents who are of Czech descent.