GOP congressman says non-white 'sub-groups' have contributed less to society

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GOP Rep. Steve King's jaw dropping remarks

Rep. Steve King of Iowa made a controversial statement on MSNBC Monday night, claiming white people had contributed more to society than any other non-white "sub-groups."

The GOP congressman was lamenting criticism of the party's largely white leadership when he challenged the other members of the panel, "to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?"

SEE ALSO: RNC staffers scrambling to take down 'racist' signs

Host Chris Hayes challenged him, "Than white people?" To which King replied, "than Western civilization itself. It's rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That's all of Western civilization."

Hayes ended the discussion quickly, saying, "We're not going to argue the history of Western civilization." The anchor tweeted about the comments after the show, saying he was "pretty taken aback."

King is no stranger to racial controversy. In June the Iowa congressman filed a bill to block the Treasury Department from putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. According to Politico, he said it is "racist" and "sexist" to say a woman or person of color should be on currency.

He added, "This is liberal activism on the part of the president that's trying to identify people by categories."

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Chaos at the Republican National Convention
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates from Texas oppose a roll call vote on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Republican National Convention delegates yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A Donald Trump-supporting delegate cheers while holding a Trump banner as the Republican National Convention Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest onm the floor on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Delegates react to a rule committee proposal on the opening day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18, 2016. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Trump activists march in protest outside the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. / AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (L) along with other delegates from Virginia chant for a rule call vote on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
An opponent of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee's report and rules changes screams as the Republican party tries to repel the efforts of anti-Trump forces by refusing to hold a roll-call vote on the report and changes, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican National Convention delegates yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A Republican National Convention delegates yells as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An opponent of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee's report and rules changes screams as the Republican party tries to repel the efforts of anti-Trump forces by refusing to hold a roll-call vote on the report and changes, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Republican National Convention delegate cheers as others yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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