PHOENIX — Arizona congressman Paul Gosar is facing criticism after he tweeted a video that included altered animation showing him striking — and apparently killing — congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and apparently swinging two swords at President Joe Biden.
In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez said Gosar “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.”
So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 9, 2021
And he’ll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses.
Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect woc https://t.co/XRnMAKsnNO
She added that Gosar would face no consequences because Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “cheers him on with excuses.”
Gosar posted the video Sunday afternoon with a note saying: “Any anime fans out there?”
Any anime fans out there? pic.twitter.com/TxX4qiJhOi— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 7, 2021
The roughly 90-second video is an altered version of a Japanese anime series, interspersed with shots of Border Patrol officers and migrants at the southern U.S. border.
Following the criticism, Rep. Gosar tweeted a meme on Tuesday, an apparent response to that criticism, that read in part: "It's a cartoon. Relax."
The video appeared to have been removed from the platform on Tuesday. Other media reports said Twitter attached a warning to the video saying that it violated its community guidelines, but may be in the public interest to keep it up.
“It seems to be the case that he is doubling down on this kind of anti-government rhetoric at a time of increasing division and polarization,” said Marc Krell of the Anti-Defamation League.
From Scotland, where she is attending the climate summit, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to condemn Gosar’s tweet. Pelosi also wants McCarthy to call for an ethics investigation and a law enforcement investigation into Gosar’s tweet, something that is very likely not going to happen.
Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated. @GOPLeader should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate. https://t.co/qX8kMbiZ8n— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 9, 2021
On ABC's daytime talk show, The View, California Congressman Adam Schiff said, “Paul Gosar creates this video glorifying violence and it’s perfectly okay.”
ABC15 reached out to McCarthy's office for comment, but we did not receive an immediate response.
Gosar has often drawn criticism for his extremist views. He is one of the congressmen allegedly linked to helping organize the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a claim he had repeatedly denied.
Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego said Gosar’s tweet is the type of despicable behavior which has no place in our country, let alone in Congress. He wants Gosar stripped of committee assignments and censured by the House.
Congressman Gallego said in any other workplace, Gosar would have been fired. He won’t be, which is why he can apparently tell all of us to relax.
This type of despicable behavior should have no place in our country, let alone in Congress. In any other workplace, @RepGosar would already have been fired. He should be stripped of his committee assignments and censured by the House.https://t.co/JgGBNJYCCW— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) November 9, 2021