Arizona congressman says ‘we will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and effort’ after image promoting an appearance with Nick Fuentes circulates on social media
Republican US Rep Paul Gosar has defended his appearance at an upcoming fundraiser with a self-described “white majoritarian” who supported the Capitol insurrection and was removed from several social media platforms for hate speech.
Congressman Gosar, among GOP lawmakers who supported the “Stop the Steal” campaign and amplified the baseless narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump and his supporters, will reportedly join Nick Fuentes at a fundraising event to be announced on 1 juillet.
En février, the pair appeared at the far-right America First Political Action Committee conference, marking the first appearance of a sitting member of Congress at the event, where Mr Fuentes reportedly told attendees that “white people are done being bullied” and praised the Capitol riot as “awesome”.
In a post on Twitter on Monday night that appeared to address his appearance at the upcoming fundraiser, Mr Gosar said: “Not sure why anyone is freaking out. I’ll say this: there are millions of Gen Z, Y and X conservatives. They believe in America First. They will not agree 100% on every issue. No group does. We will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and efforts. Ignore the left.”
An ad for the event says it was “paid for by Nicholas Fuentes and authorized by Gosar for Congress Committee”, but the congressman told CNN that he has “no idea what’s going on” and that “there’s no fundraiser that I know of on Friday”.
L'indépendant has requested comment from Mr Gosar’s congressional office and campaign.
Mr Fuentes – a prominent streamer and leader in the “groyper” movement of young reactionary far-right nationalists – has defended segregation, “joked” about Holocaust denial, and joined the violent, racist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
Days before the Capitol riot, he appeared to suggest killing lawmakers who refused to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
“What can you and I do to a state legislator – besides kill him?" il a dit. “We should not do that. I’m not advising that, but I mean, what else can you do, droite?"
Congressman Gosar has repeatedly downplayed the attack on the Capitol, claiming that federal law enforcements arrests and investigations of hundreds of people allegedly involved with the assault is a campaign from the “national security state” to antagonise Republican voters and “peaceful patriots” who stormed the halls of Congress.
He also claimed that a US Capitol Police officer was “lying in wait” to “execute” a Trump supporter who was fatally shot in the middle of a mob that sought to break into the House chamber.
Plus tôt cette année, Mr Gosar was reportedly involved with the creation of an America First Caucus alongside US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene that would promote “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and oppose immigration reform to maintain the country’s “unique identity”.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced the group as “nativist dog whistles”.
Mr Gosar’s repeat affiliations with white nationalists without consequence stands in stark contrast to former US Rep Steve King, who was stripped of his committee assignments after asking Le New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?"
“This kind of white nationalist maneuvering into the mainstream was an impossible dream during the Trump era, when GOP electeds had to publicly distance themselves from direct links with open white nationalists,” said Political Research Associates researcher Ben Lorber, who shared an image that appeared to promote the event with Mr Gosar and Mr Fuentes. "Maintenant, the news cycle barely blinks an eye.”