Montana Republican says he was unaware he was taking photo with neo-Nazis
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mon.) posed for a picture with members of the far-right neo-Nazi movement last week, but he says he did not know who the individuals were at the time.
A photo taken March 1 in front of the Capitol shows Rosendale posing with Ryan Sanchez, who was part of a white supremacist group, and Greyson Arnold, a pro-Nazi podcaster and blogger who was at the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. The photo gained traction on social media, causing the lawmaker to speak out.
“I absolutely condemn and have zero tolerance for hate groups, hate speech, and violence. I did not take a meeting with these individuals,” Rosendale said in an email to The Billings Gazette. “I was asked for a photo while walking between hearings, accommodating as I do for all photo requests, and was not aware of the individuals’ identity or affiliation with these hate groups that stand in stark contrast to my personal beliefs.”
Rosendale has faced scrutiny in the past for his connections to fringe groups on the right.
In 2014, a photo was taken of him speaking at an Oath Keepers rally in Montana. The leader of that group, Stewart Rhodes, was convicted last year of seditious conspiracy for his role in the Capitol riot; he has yet to be sentenced.
Rosendale voted to oppose the certification of election results from a number of states, amid pressure from then-President Trump to overturn the 2020 election because of baseless claims that the contest was stolen from him.
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