Calls for Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) to be removed from Congress are growing after he shared a video on Monday depicting an anime sequence of him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and attacking President Joe Biden.
The video, which has since been flagged by Twitter, is an altered version of the theme song for the popular anime show “Attack on Titan.” At one point in the video, the faces of Representatives Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Georgia) and Gosar are superimposed on anime characters fighting together to defeat Ocasio-Cortez, whose face is overlaid onto a titan, a monstrous creature from the show that eats human beings.
In the video, Gosar is depicted slicing the back of Ocasio-Cortez’s neck, killing her. Shortly after, Gosar is shown moving in to attack Biden, holding two swords up to a picture of the president that enters the frame.
Interspersed with the clips of animated violence are videos of asylum seekers at the border crossing the Rio Grande, with — disturbingly — a blood splatter filter imposed over the footage. The words “drugs,” “crime,” “poverty,” “money,” “murder,” “gangs,” “violence” and “trafficking” flash across the screen, followed by videos glorifying Customs and Border Protection agents, almost as if to show the agents hunting down the asylum seekers.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is currently in Scotland attending the COP26 climate summit, responded to the video on Twitter. “So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me,” she wrote. “And he’ll face no consequences because [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California)] cheers him on with excuses.”
“This dude is just a collection of wet toothpicks anyway,” the New York lawmaker went on. “White supremacy is for extremely fragile people and sad men like him, whose self concept relies on the myth that he was born superior because deep down he knows he couldn’t open a pickle jar or read a whole book by himself.”
Gosar’s office dismissed criticisms of the video depicting an animated version of him murdering the popular Democratic lawmaker. “Everyone needs to relax,” a spokesperson for Gosar said.
Many lawmakers have condemned Gosar for posting the video, some calling for his removal. “Every day these white supremacists push the limits further and further to see how far they can go without consequences. This puts lives in danger,” wrote Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri). “Enough with the violent bigotry. Expel this white supremacist clown.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) echoed this call, saying, “This man should not serve in Congress. Fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society.”
In a tweet thread, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that this isn’t the first time she’s faced violent or vulgar threats from Republican colleagues. Last year, a reporter overheard Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida) accosting Ocasio-Cortez in a stairwell over her comments suggesting that unemployment and general financial instability were causing more incidences of theft during the pandemic. After a short exchange, Yoho called Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch.”
Ocasio- Cortez also pointed out that she has been the subject of repeated harassment from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Earlier this year, Greene screamed at Ocasio-Cortez in an incident that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) categorized as “verbal assault.”
Ocasio-Cortez has previously described fearing for her life during the extremist right-wing attack on the Capitol on January 6, which organizers of the attack have said was planned in part by Gosar and Greene. The lawmakers have previously faced calls to resign for their alleged participation in the attack and — in Greene’s case — her tendency to make violent threats.