Call for action against Rep. Paul Gosar after anime tweet against AOC, Biden

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Call for action against Rep. Paul Gosar after anime tweet against AOC, Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that Rep. Paul Gosar should be investigated by police and the House Ethics Committee after he tweeted a bizarre anime-style video depicting him attacking President Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated,” tweeted Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is currently in Scotland attending the UN Climate Change Conference. “[House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.”

Gosar (R-Ariz.) posted the clip — an edited version of the manga series “Attack on Titan” in which a character with AOC’s face is shown being stabbed in the back — on his official Twitter account with the caption: “Any anime fans out there?” He then replied via his personal account: “The creativity of my team is off the hook.”

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Rep. Paul Gosar should be investigated by police and the House Ethics Committee following the controversial tweet.
AP / Alastair Grant

The video was flagged by Twitter for violating the social media platform’s rules about hateful conduct. However, the video is still visible behind a message saying Twitter “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) slammed Gosar’s actions as “sick behavior” in a Monday tweet.

“In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired,” he wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who traveled to Scotland with Pelosi, highlighted Lieu’s tweet, adding: “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.”

“And he’ll face no consequences [because McCarthy] cheers him on with excuses,” she added. “Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect [women of color].”

“This will continue,” lamented Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). “Of course @gop and @GOPLeader can condemn this proactively (not some sidestepping comment when asked about it.). They won’t. The ‘arm-pit farting’ of our politics is why we are failing the people.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) dubbed Gosar’s conduct “grotesque, dangerous and utterly disgraceful” to the House of Representatives. AOC’s fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) stated bluntly that Gosar “should not serve in Congress.”

“Fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society,” she said.

Author and political activist Don Winslow tagged the White House in a tweet requesting that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris condemn Gosar and that Twitter remove his account. Sports broadcaster Keith Olbermann agreed, tweeting: “RT if it’s time to remove would-be murderer @RepGosar from Twitter… and from Congress.”

Edited anime video shows someone flying through the air with a sword towards a blown up head of President Biden in the clouds.
The controversial video, which also showed President Biden being attacked, is an edit of a popular anime series “Attack on Titan.”
Twitter

When asked about the video during her daily briefing Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters there was “no place for any violence of any sort in this political system. And you know, I don’t want to go any further than that.

“I leave it to the social media platform on how they’re going to move forward on that,” Jean-Pierre added. “But there is no place for that, for any type of violence or that type of language in the political system and it should not be happening.”

In reaction to the overwhelming backlash, Gosar posted a meme to his professional Twitter account Tuesday morning of an illustration with the caption: “It’s a cartoon. Relax.”

Gosar, 62, has previously asserted that the deadly August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, had been “created by the left” and that rally organizer Jason Kessler had been financially backed by left-wing billionaire George Soros.

In September 2018, six of Gosar’s nine brothers and sisters endorsed his Democratic opponent, saying they were alarmed by his extremist views on immigration, health care and white supremacy. Gosar won re-election that year with 68 percent of the vote and won again last year with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

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