McCarthy says he called Gosar before anime tweet video taken down: report

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRhode Island state treasurer running for Langevin's seat in US House McConnell aims to sidestep GOP drama over Trump House Republicans bash Democrats' China competition bill MORE (R.-Calif.) said Monday that he called 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.) last week after Gosar tweeted an anime video depicting himself carrying out violent acts against Democratic lawmakers including President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Romney tests positive for coronavirus Pelosi sidesteps progressives' March 1 deadline for Build Back Better MORE and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision New Mexico Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE (D-N.Y.).

McCarthy told CNN he spoke to Gosar after he posted the video and noted that the tweet was taken down after their conversation, but he did not directly condemn Gosar's behavior.

"He took the video down and he made a statement that he doesn't support violence to anybody. Nobody should have violence [against them]," McCarthy told CNN in his first public comments about the incident. "I called him when I heard about the video, and he made a statement that he doesn't support violence, and he took the video down."

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Last week, House Democrats introduced a resolution to censure Gosar over the video, which has since been removed. The anime clip showed Gosar striking a figure bearing Ocasio-Cortez’s face in the back of the neck with a sword. The video also showed Gosar’s likeness approaching Biden while holding two swords. 

Gosar issued a statement last week about the "gross mischaracterization of a short anime video produced by his office."

"I do not espouse violence or harm towards any Member of Congress or Mr. Biden," the statement said. "This video is truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy."

CNN also reported that Gosar further defended his actions in an email over the weekend. 

"I am entitled to speak to the people and to do so in a manner that is engaging. Further, I have a right to speak to the younger generation in this country," he wrote, according to the network. 

The Hill has reached out to McCarthy and Gosar for comment.