Trump throws support behind Gosar after censure vote

Former President Trump endorsed Rep. Paul Gosar (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-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and attacking President Biden.

“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!”

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 Greene (Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (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 Kinzinger (Ill.) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.) were the only two Republicans to vote for his censure.

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 McCarthy (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.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Censure Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Lauren Boebert Liz Cheney Marjorie Taylor Greene Paul Gosar Paul Gosar Trump endorsements

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