Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has addressed the crowds at white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ events the last two years in a row — most recently sparking uproar after both he and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appeared at the America First Political Action Conference last month.
Despite receiving abnormally swift condemnation from GOP leadership after news of his appearance broke, Gosar had not yet addressed the bipartisan backlash to his speech until just a few days ago.
In an interview with Politico, Gosar admitted he “wasn’t suppose to go to Nick’s group” again, before blaming his staff for sending his video-recorded address to the organizers of the Fuentes conference. He claimed the pre-recorded video of him that was featured at the Fuentes event was meant to be sent as a general “welcome video” to other types of conservative group conferences, but a staffer in his office “misconstrued” things!
“We’re kind of short-handed,” he said. “And there was miscommunication.”
You can’t really blame said staffer. All these various conservative groups’ names sound like organizers filled out a madlib after attending a Trump rally to land on an official name. Gosar told Politico the video was actually meant to be sent to American Principles and CPAC event organizers, not Fuentes’ group.
After news broke that Gosar and Greene addressed the crowd at the white nationalist-hosted event, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) boldly declared, “there’s no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists or anti-Semitism.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called their participation in the event “appalling,” but did little in terms of addressing the issue or punishing the two lawmakers for giving Fuentes and his followers the time of day.
The two reportedly were asked to sit down with McCarthy for a nice long chat, which … punishment enough. (Gosar apparently hasn’t actually had to talk to the minority leader about the issue. When Politico asked whether he’d met with McCarthy about it yet, Gosar responded, “Why would I?”)
But fret not, Gosar has learned his lesson. He told Politico he has “given up … on dealing with Nick. Nick’s got a problem with his mouth,” which is one way to say the man has repeatedly spewed white nationalist talking points and racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric for years.
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