House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for investigations into Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) after he posted an altered anime video in which he is depicted killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and threatening President Joe Biden with swords.
Meanwhile, some Democrats are calling on Twitter to take greater action against Gosar.
Pelosi wrote, “Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated. @GOPLeader should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.”
Gosar posted the video on Sunday with the note, “Any anime fans out there?” It linked to the video, which appeared to be an altered version of the anime series Attack on Titan, according to Phoenix New Times. In it, Gosar, as the protagonist, slays a monster that looks like Ocasio-Cortez and then waves swords at a giant image of Biden’s head.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the video on Monday, writing, “So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me And he’ll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses. Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect woc.”
The post remains on Twitter, but the platform hid it from view and placed a public interest notice on it “as it violates our hateful conduct policy.”
“We recognize that sometimes it may be in the public interest to allow people to view Tweets that would otherwise be taken down,” according to a spokesperson. “We consider content to be in the public interest if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern.”
The tweet also features images of undocumented immigrants at the border, as well as more favorable pictures of former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the post at Tuesday’s press briefing, and said, “There is absolutely no place …for any violence of any sort in this political system, and I don’t want to go any further than that. I leave it to the social media platform in how they are going to move forward on that.”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who chairs the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, criticized Twitter for not slapping more serious sanctions on Gosar’s account.
Cicilline wrote, “Since when is threatening to kill Members of Congress and POTUS in the “public’s interest?” @Twitter– do better. All these platforms care about is maximizing profit by letting this type of toxic content remain on their sites.”
He earlier tweeted that this “is absolutely sick and certainly meets the threshold for his accounts to be suspended.”
On The View, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that Gosar “has no business being in Congress…Sadly, the Republican conference is now characterized by numerous kooks and dangerous kranks, of which he is one.” He also noted reports that some Republicans are calling for sanctioning their members who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill last week.
“But Paul Gosar creates this video glorifying violence against one of our colleagues who has already been the subject of death threats, and that is perfectly OK,” Schiff said.
Gosar mocked the furor over his video by sharing meme that read, “It’s a cartoon, relax.”
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