Hours after Paul Gosar was censured by the House of Representatives for sharing a morphed anime clip depicting him killing Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, he filmed a defiant response and retweeted the same video that landed him in trouble.
On Wednesday, the House voted to approve a resolution to censure the Arizona representative – the most severe form of punishment in Congress – after he shared the video of an anime that depicted him killing his Ms Ocasio-Cortez and threatening president Joe Biden. The resolution also stripped Mr Gosar of two assignments.
While Mr Gosar had earlier issued a clarification saying he did not “espouse violence”, he had not apologised for sharing the video.
The representative retweeted the same video again hours after he was censured, according to screenshots shared by some journalists on Twitter.
Mr Gosar had retweeted a conservative supporter, who had quote tweeted another user’s tweet that shared the same anime video. “Really well done. We love [Paul Gosar], don’t we folks?” the quote tweet had said.
Mr Gosar’s retweet is no longer visible on his timeline.
A 36-second video being shared on social media also showed the Arizona representative returning to his office after the House resolution. Mr Gosar, in the video, said he got censured by Democrats for “challenging their America last agenda”.
Mr Gosar, who has a long history of insensitive comments, had earlier also released a statement comparing the anime to a Charlie Hebdo illustration. “For this cartoon, some in Congress suggest I should be punished in some fashion,” Mr Gosar said in a statement tweeted by journalist Ben Jacobs. “For a cartoon.”
House Democrats demanded the strict action against Mr Gosar, while some GOP leaders said Democrats were setting a dangerous precedent.
Speaking in his own defence from the House floor on Wednesday, Mr Gosar denied that the video was dangerous or threatening. “If I must join Alexander Hamilton, the first person attempted to be censured by this House, so be it,” he said.
This prompted AOC to call him “a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups” who shared a “fantasy video” of himself killing her.
In her address on the floor, she said it was a “sad day” that members had to explain “issuing a depiction of murdering a member of Congress is wrong”.
“What I believe is unprecedented is for a member of House leadership of either party to be unable to condemn incitement of violence against a member of this body,” she said.
“Does anybody in this chamber find this behaviour acceptable? Would you allow that in your home?” Ms Ocasio-Cortez asked.
Democrats introduced the censure resolution against Mr Gosar last week after it became known that he had used an official House social media account to post the video, in which the faces of himself, Ms Ocasio-Cortez and Mr Biden were superimposed. The video depicted him killing the New York representative with a pair of swords before threatening the president with the same weapons.
The House on Wednesday voted by a margin of 223 in favour, and 207 against, the passing of the resolution. Only two Republicans voted in favour of censuring Mr Gosar.
“We cannot have a member joking about murdering each other or threatening the President of the United States,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech.
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