Colleagues are happy to see Steve King go but ousted lawmaker says he's not bitter

“I don’t want to imply that I’m walking out of this town with bitterness. But I’m walking out of this town with an understanding of how deep and how broad this swamp is and what some people will do for power,” he said. “And I’ll never be able to understand why they put their souls at risk for power.”

King’s long career in Washington did form bonds with a number of rank-and-file members, including one Congressional Black Caucus lawmaker who vouched for King.

“You’ll never hear me calling [King] names. I don’t do that. …I don’t want to, you know, trespass into Republican Conference matters. All I can say is my personal relationship with him has not changed, and I don’t see any reason for it to change,” Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said during a radio interview in April 2019.

Cleaver continued, “I think he’ll tell you that we still joke. It’s as if nothing happened, and I’m very aware of all the issues, and I know that sometimes, and I never heard any of it, but I know sometimes Steve gets beat up for the way he says things.”