Republican Representative Steve King has said federal funding for Planned Parenthood and food stamps should be used to help pay for President Trump's US-Mexico border wall.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a spending bill allocating $1.6bn (£1.24bn) to Customs and Border Protection to start construction on the physical southern wall along the US border with Mexico - one of Trump's key campaign promises that he previously said would be paid for by Mexico.

However, Mexico has said multiple times that it has no intention to pay for the border wall.

During a televised interview with CNN on Wednesday (12 July), host Alisyn Camerota questioned King whether he was comfortable with providing $1.6bn (£1.24bn) of taxpayer's money to pay for the border wall.

"Absolutely yes and more," replied King, who is a representative for Iowa. "I'd throw another $5 billion on the pile and I would find a half of a billion dollars of that right out of Planned Parenthood's budget and the rest of it can come out of food stamps and the entitlements that are coming out for people who haven't worked in three generations."

"We've got to put America back to work, this administration will do it," King said.

"You want to take food from people who are on the lowest rung in terms of the nation's safety net and their children, in terms of foot stamps — you're happy to take money from them in order to give the $1.6 billion for the border wall?" Camerota asked incredulously.

"For a couple of reasons," King explained, "One of them would be that, you know, we will create the kind of security that would bring about 10 million new jobs in America by enforcing immigration law.

"Second thing is I wouldn't impose anything any more strict on anybody in America than what Michelle Obama did with her school lunch program, so I would just say let's limit to that anybody that wants to have food stamps up to the school lunch program. But we have seen this go from 19 million people now on the SNAP program up to 47 million people on the SNAP program."

"And you don't think all of them need it?" Camerota asked, to which the congressman replied: "Oh, I'm sure all of them didn't need it."

"We built a program to solve the problem of malnutrition in America and now we have a problem of obesity", he said. "When you match up the EBT card with what the scales say on some of the folks, I think it's worth looking at. Michelle Obama looked at it. Republicans should be able to look at it too."

Twitter immediately slammed King's "outrageous" and "despicable" plan to fund Trump's controversial border wall using food stamp and Planned Parenthood funding.

"You sir are an embarrassment," one person wrote. "Iowa deserves better than you." Another person tweeted: "Why would less fortunate need food when they can have a big beautiful wall instead".

One person said: "The heartlessness of some people never ceases to amaze me."

A man in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico looks through the US border fence into Nogales, Arizona, US, 31 January 2017 Reuters/Lucy Nicholson