Rep. Gosar posts anime video showing him striking Biden, Ocasio-Cortez

Politics

FILE – Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., waits for a news conference about the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the origin of the virus, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 22, 2021. Gosar is facing criticism after he tweeted a video that included altered animation showing him striking congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez said Gosar “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(The Hill) — Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., tweeted a photo-manipulated, animated video Sunday that shows a likeness of him striking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and running at President Joe Biden while armed with two swords, sparking outrage from Twitter users who said keeping the post up violates the social media platform’s rules.

The Arizona Republican tweeted out the video with the caption “Any anime fans out there?”

The 90-second video, with special anime-like effects and music, opens to scenes of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border with text captioned drugs, crime, poverty, money, gangs, violence and trafficking.

The video also mashes together footage of former President Donald Trump and videos of immigration officials and migrants at the border. 

Armed with swords, an animated version of Gosar then appears with the title “attack of immigrants,” as he, along with anime versions of fellow conservative Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, and Lauren Bobert, of Colorado, seemingly attack a giant in the back with Ocasio-Cortez’s face edited onto it. 

The video then ends with Gosar’s anime likeness, once again armed with swords, running toward a large photo of Biden’s face. 

The video is inspired by Japanese manga “Attack on Titan” created by Hajime Isayama.  

Many users online have called out Twitter for allowing the video to stay up because it violates Twitter’s rules and policies that prohibit users from threatening “violence against an individual or a group of people,” as well as the “glorification of violence.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in a statement, “We have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet as it violates our hateful conduct policy. As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Quote Tweet the Tweet, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”

In response to the video, Ocasio-Cortez sent a series of tweets Monday evening that detailed times she’s been verbally harassed by other members of Congress, including an incident last summer when she was accosted by then-Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., on the Capitol steps and another when she was aggressively confronted by Greene, that suggested that Gosar would also face no consequences “[because] institutions don’t protect [women of color.]”

The New York Democrat also suggested that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would cheer Gosar on “with excuses.”

The Hill has reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.

“Attack on Titan” was released in 2013. Many have criticized the series for purportedly supporting antisemitic conspiracy theories and fascism, according to Vice

Gosar, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, has repeatedly been criticized by other lawmakers and outside groups for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and other issues. 

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