Video depicting violence removed from Rep. Gosar's account after blowback

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarJan. 6 committee subpoenas leaders of 'America First' movement Lawmakers coming under increased threats — sometimes from one another McCarthy says he'll strip Dems of committee slots if GOP wins House MORE (R-Ariz.) has apparently deleted an altered anime video that he shared depicting himself and other GOP lawmakers attacking President BidenJoe BidenUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries Headaches intensify for Democrats in Florida US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Missouri House Democrat becomes latest to test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-N.Y.), following political blowback from top Democrats.

The video, which was first posted Monday to Gosar’s official Twitter account, did not appear on his profile Tuesday evening. A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that "the only enforcement action we took on the Tweet was placing a public interest notice on it for violating our hateful conduct policy."

The Hill has reached out to Gosar’s office for more information.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gosar’s video sparked controversy throughout Washington, leading top Democrats to denounce the congressman and the perceived violence in the animation.

The video featured characters from a Japanese anime series "Attack on Titan" with the faces of Gosar and GOP Reps. Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertMask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Boebert asked Jewish visitors to Capitol if they were doing 'reconnaissance': report GOP Reps. Greene, Clyde accrue nearly 0K in combined mask fines MORE (Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (Ga.), who are wielding weapons.

In one scene, Gosar’s figure strikes another character in the back of its neck with a sword. That character was edited to have Ocasio-Cortez’s face.

Gosar’s character is also seen confronting Biden with two swords in hand. Throughout the animation, footage of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border is shown.

Despite the clip apparently being taken down, the Arizona Republican defended the video in a lengthy statement Tuesday evening, contending that the animation was symbolic of an immigration fight that he says will take place in the House when it takes up the Democrats’ social spending package.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gosar said the “chaotic and lawless wind” blowing throughout the video is symbolic of what he dubs Biden’s open border policies, adding that “our southern border is being invaded by illegal aliens.” He also continued to criticize Ocasio-Cortez, whom he referred to as “Congresswoman Cortez.”

“Our country is suffering from the plague of illegal immigration. The cartoon depicts the symbolic nature of a battle between lawful and unlawful policies and in no way intended to be a targeted attack against Representative Cortez or Mr. Biden,” Gosar said.

The congressman said that Ocasio-Cortez’s figure in the video represents the Democrats’ immigration provision in the Democrats’ package and that Biden’s appearance in the video symbolizes “his administration’s decision to leave the border open while illegal aliens invade from all points.”

“As a proud member of the open border caucus, she continues to defend and fight for these dangerous, immigration policies,” Gosar wrote. “By her own words, Congresswoman Cortez referred to the Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement as ‘rogue agencies that act to inflict harm on our communities’ and sought to defund these agencies.”

The latest version of the $1.75 trillion package includes immigration initiatives that would provide up to 10 years of work authorization for undocumented individuals living in the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT

The video angered a number of top Democrats in Washington when it was posted earlier this week.

Asked about the video on Tuesday, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden comes out swinging in 2022 Biden says he plans to run for reelection in 2024 'if I'm in good health' The Memo: Failure on big bill would spark cascade of trouble for Biden MORE said “there is absolutely no place for any violence of any sort in this political system.”

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse has the power to subpoena its members — but does it have the will? Man who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill MORE (D-Calif.) called for ethics and criminal investigations into Gosar in response to the video, and Ocasio-Cortez knocked the congressman on Twitter, writing, “This dude is a just a collection of wet toothpicks anyway.”

Jennifer Gosar, a sister of the congressman's who has in the past appeared in political ads run against him, told CNN on Tuesday that her brother is a “sociopath.”