WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Gosar, Rhode Arizona, tweeted an animated video of him killing MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NY, and swinging two swords at President Joe Biden, prompting condemnation and calls for his Twitter account to be suspended.
Gosar has long been criticized for his extremist views, including for spreading conspiracy theories about the January 6 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters and a deadly rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. In February, he appeared at an event. the organizer of which called for white supremacy. Later, Gosar distanced himself from the organizer’s remarks.
The congressman’s tweet on Sunday appears to have gone beyond his previous controversial remarks and social media posts, raising the specter of political violence similar to former President Donald Trump’s frequent allusions to an armed revolution.
“Are there any anime fans?” Gosar said in a tweet in which he shared a link to the video.
The 90-second clip appears to be a photoshopped version of the opening credits of the Japanese animated series Attack on Titans. The show revolves around a hero who sets out to destroy the Titans, giant creatures that have swallowed nearly all of human civilization. In recent years, netizens have turned the show’s opening credits into a popular meme.
The video posted by Gosar shows the congressman battling the Titans alongside representatives from Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Green and Washington State’s Lauren Bobert. In one scene, Ocasio-Cortez’s face is in Photoshop over the face of one of the titans; Gosar flies into the air and cuts Titan’s neck from behind, killing him.
In another scene, Gosar swings two swords at an enemy whose face has been replaced by Biden’s.
Animated video scenes are interspersed with real-life footage of US Customs and Border Protection officers, some standing shoulder to shoulder and others on horseback, surrounding migrants at the US-Mexican border.
In one scene, blood splatters are superimposed on footage of migrants crossing the Rio Grande. In another, the words “drugs”, “crime”, “poverty”, “money”, “murder”, “gangs”, “violence” and “human trafficking” flash on the screen. The video also features footage of Gosar, the Capitol, and migrant caravans.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, Calif., Criticized Gosar in a tweet Monday morning in which he also tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republic of California.
“Happy Monday in America when colleague @GOPLeader McCarthy just posted a video of him swinging two swords at President Biden,” Swalwell said in a tweet. “These bloodthirsty losers like violence more than voting. Keep flaunting them. “
Gosar’s tweet was also flagged by scores of Twitter users as a potential violation of social media rules that prohibit threats of violence and glorification of violence.
A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez declined to comment. Representatives from Gosar, McCarthy and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Aaron Schaffer of the Washington Post contributed to this report.