Rep. Steve King and the pro-Trump social media duo known as “Diamond and Silk” (Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) appeared before reporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building today to highlight proposed legislation named for the eccentric pair.
“The Diamond and Silk Act” is a proposed bill that King said he drafted with input from Hardaway and Richardson. King cited “research” Diamond and Silk said they did while filming their movie “Dummycrats,” which consisted of Diamond and Silk traveling to the West coast to speak to homeless people on the street and complain about poop on the streets of San Francisco.
The legislation, formally titled the “End Sanctuaries and Help Our American Homeless and Veterans Act,” aims to take away federal funds from sanctuary cities and reroute the reclaimed funds to veteran and homelessness aid programs. Even conservatives have criticized the bill; Washington Examiner opinion columnist Becket Adams called The Diamond and Silk Act a “cheap shot” that was “idiotic and cruel to those whom the legislation is intended to serve.”
Outside the House side of the Capitol, King told reporters that the legislation was produced after “some pretty interesting conversations” he had with Diamond and Silk about immigration during which they “started putting their ideas together.”
“I found out that Diamond and Silk are even stronger on this than I was advocating, so they raised me up just a little bit and I appreciate it,” King said. “When we wrote the bill, I thought maybe we should dial back just a little bit but they said, ‘No, we’ve got to get the right principles down on paper,’ so this is a deeply thought-out bill.”
Of King, Hardaway said, “Thank God he was the one who opened the door to Diamond and Silk.”
After a brief presentation, King and the Trump-world social media stars fielded questions from the press. The first question to the trio was from a reporter who inquired how King’s rescinded committee assignments would affect the bill’s fate in the House, and why they expected any of King’s Republican colleagues to “even entertain” the bill, presumably given King’s status as an embarrassment to his party. King was removed from his spots on the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees after, speaking with The New York Times, King rhetorically asked why white supremacy was considered offensive.
Hardaway was quick to try to reel in the off-message narrative. “This ain’t about no Steve King,” Hardaway said. “This is about our homeless, our veterans, and Americans,” she said.
“Why is the congressman here if it’s not about him?” a reporter asked. (Hardaway said King was present because the bill grew out of conversations they had together.)
Another reporter asked what Hardaway and Richardson thought about King retweeting white supremacists, to which they demanded the reporter explain what white supremacism was. The reporter stood flabbergasted while Hardaway accused him of “playing the race card.”
Later in the press conference, King took a moment to accuse The New York Times of fabricating the quote that got him removed from his committee assignments, saying that he only speaks to the need to preserve “Western civilization” when discussing immigration and related issues. He did not elaborate what “Western civilization” meant to him, but noted that a LexisNexis search showed he was quoted using the term 276 times.
Richardson went on to accost reporters for not writing about allegedly inflammatory statements made by Democrats like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, adding that King should be reinstated on the committees to which he was previously appointed. Hardaway demanded to know why reporters weren’t instead talking about racist statements made in 1993 by former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Well, he’s not holding a press conference,” responded reporter Alex Thomas of Playboy.
Eventually, King stepped in and shot down any questions that were not directly about legislation. A reporter from the right-wing outlet One America News stepped up to ask such penetrating questions as, “Can you talk about the sanctuary cities legislation that you’re advocating for?”. Another reporter asked the trio if they had met with homelessness advocates or assistance organizations to help craft the bill, and they said they had not.
After the press conference, the three found safety from scrutiny, surrounded by a One America News camera crew that interviewed them until a car arrived to whisk them away.