Gosar claims video appearance at event hosted by white nationalist due to staff error
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) told Politico Friday that his video appearance at a conference hosted by a white nationalist last month was due to a staff error.
Why it matters: Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have both come under fire for appearing at the America First Political Action Committee event, which was organized by the outspoken Holocaust denier, antisemitic, homophobic and racist activist Nick Fuentes, who has been labeled a "white supremacist" by the Justice Department.
- Gosar dismissed the notion that his 2022 video appearance indicated any kind of involvement with the event, even though he had headlined the event in person in 2021.
What he's saying: The video message "wasn't supposed to go to Nick’s group," Gosar told Politico. A staffer apparently "misconstrued" directions from his chief of staff, he said.
- "We're kind of short-handed," he said. "And there was miscommunication." It was intended as a general "welcome video" for multiple different groups, Gosar claimed.
- The video "just basically said 'welcome to the Miami area. Have a great conference. The United States is at a crisis point,'" he said. His office had "authorized" specific groups to receive the video, and America First was not on the list.
- The congressman defended himself last June after reports surfaced that he was scheduled to hold a joint fundraiser with Fuentes.
Worth noting: "Gosar and Greene have lost the benefit of the doubt with many GOP colleagues this Congress, as some talk publicly and privately about how their Fuentes ties have hurt the party," Politico writes. "So even fellow Republicans are likely to be skeptical about Gosar's assertions that it was a staff error."