Trump throws support behind Gosar after censure vote

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE endorsed Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarWar of words escalates in House McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP Pelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday, just one day after the House voted to censure him and remove him from committees for sharing a video on social media that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWar of words escalates in House McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP Noncitizen voting doesn't pass this test MORE (D-N.Y.) and attacking President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE.

"Congressman Paul Gosar has been a loyal supporter of our America First agenda, and even more importantly, the USA," Trump said in a statement. "Paul is a Congressman who is highly respected in Arizona, strong on Crime, Borders, our Military, and our Veterans. He continually fights for Lower Taxes, Less Regulations, and our great, but under siege, Second Amendment. Paul Gosar has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"

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Gosar was reelected in 2020 to represent Arizona's 4th Congressional District, winning more than 60 percent of the vote. He is not currently engaged in a competitive reelection campaign.

Earlier this month, Gosar, one of Trump's most ardent allies in Congress, posted an animated video on Twitter that depicted him and fellow Republican Reps. 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.) and Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal War of words escalates in House Mace chief of staff steps down during turbulent week MORE (Colo.) attacking a character with Ocasio-Cortez's face edited onto it. The video was quickly taken down.

On Wednesday, the House voted almost completely along on party lines to censure Gosar and remove him from committees. Reps. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOn The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP MORE (Ill.) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyProsecutors say North Carolina woman deserves prison for bringing 14-year-old to Capitol riot Rules committee mulls contempt vote for Trump DOJ official McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP MORE (Wyo.) were the only two Republicans to vote for his censure.

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Gosar has so far refused calls to apologize for the video, arguing that it “directly contributes to the understanding and the discussion of the real-life battle resulting from this administration's open-border policies.”

"I do not espouse violence towards anyone. I never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset," Gosar said on the House floor. "I voluntarily took the cartoon down, not because it was itself a threat but because some thought it was. Out of compassion for those who genuinely felt offense, I self-censored,"

Gosar is just the 24th U.S. lawmaker to be censured in the House in more than 200 years. His censure marked the second time Democrats have moved to remove a Republican lawmaker from their committee assignments this year, having done so to Greene in February for her embrace of far-right conspiracy theories.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal War of words escalates in House The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE (R-Calif.) signaled his continued support of Gosar on Thursday, saying he would restore both Gosar and Greene's committee assignments if the GOP regains control of the House in 2022.

“They may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments," said McCarthy.