EAGLE GROVE, Iowa — Republican Rep. Steve King said that he drank from a toilet that also serves as a water fountain during a recent visit to a migrant detention facility and the water 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 said at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa, which is his home state. “I took a drink out of there and it was actually pretty good.”
After visiting detention facilities in Texas in July, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several other members of Congress said Customs and Border Patrol officers were telling detained women to “drink out of the toilet.”
King said a “language barrier” between the detainees and members of Congress likely led to “misinformation.”
At one point during the town hall, King also said there was video of him drinking from the toilet, but he “didn’t send it out.” After NBC News published an article about his comments, King posted the video to his Twitter account.
King explained during the town hall that the stainless steel toilets have a water fountain on the back where the lid would typically be.
“In the back where the lid would be on our toilet, that’s also sealed,” King said. “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. It’s not drinking out of the toilet, it’s drinking out of the water fountain that’s integral with the back of the toilet.”
Those hybrid toilets have been used in Border Patrol facilities and U.S. jails for years, but the volume of people required to use a single toilet is likely much higher than normal.