Jun 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar appears to defend fundraiser with white nationalist

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Rep. Paul Gosar. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) appeared to defend himself against criticism that erupted on Tuesday after reports that he's scheduled to hold a fundraiser with Nick Fuentes, who has been labeled a "white supremacist" by the Justice Department.

The big picture: Fuentes' channel on the social media platform Telegram posted a flyer Monday night advertising the fundraiser between the congressman and America First PAC, a group run by Fuentes.

  • Gosar's office could not be reached for comment.

What he's saying: Gosar appeared to defend the joint fundraiser on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

  • “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,” Gosar said in an apparent reference to the America First PAC, which is comprised of young members of the far right, per the Washington Post.
  • “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.”

The backstory: Gosar has circulated conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack — including that pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt was “executed” by police "lying in wait" — and suggested that the violence during the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017 was a false flag by the left.

  • Gosar was criticized in February for being a keynote speaker at an America First PAC event in Orlando, where Fuentes delivered a white nationalist speech.

Go deeper: Gosar's family calls his Jan. 6 comments "despicable"

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