Arizona Representative Paul Gosar was facing criticism after he tweeted a video that included altered animation showing him striking Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword.
The video also shows him apparently set to attack President Biden with a weapon that appears to be a club or a sword.
In a tweet Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, referred to Gosar as "a creepy member I work with" and said he "shared a fantasy video of him killing me." She added that Gosar would face no consequences because Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy "cheers him on with excuses." She also said institutions "don't protect" women of color.
A fellow House Democrat, Ted Lieu of California, referred to Gosar's tweet as "sick behavior" and said in a tweet of his own: "In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired."
Another House Democrat from California, Eric Swalwell tweeted, "Happy Monday in America, where @GOPLeader McCarthy's colleague just posted a video of himself swinging two swords at President Biden. These blood thirsty losers are more comfortable with violence than voting. Keep exposing them."
In a statement to The Washington Post, Gosar's digital director, Jessica Lycos, tossed aside assertions that the video glorifies violence, saying, "Everyone needs to relax."
Gosar, a Republican, posted the video Sunday with a note saying: "Any anime fans out there?"
The roughly 90-second video is an altered version of a Japanese anime series, interspersed with shots of border patrol officers and migrants at the southern U.S. border.
During one roughly 10-second section of the video, animated characters whose faces have been replaced with Gosar and fellow Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado are seen fighting other animated characters.
In one scene, Gosar's character is seen striking the one made to look like Ocasio-Cortez in the back of the neck with a sword.
Twitter later attached a warning to the tweet saying it "violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."
Gosar is known as an ardent ally of former President Donald Trump. He was among the lawmakers whose phone or computer records a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection asked social media and telecommunications companies to preserve as they were potentially involved with efforts to "challenge, delay or interfere" with the certification of the 2020 election or otherwise try to overturn its results.
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