Paul Gosar blames staff for his appearance at white nationalist conference for the second year

Gosar attended the same event last year, encouraging attendees to become "a bigger force"

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published April 4, 2022 4:44PM (EDT)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

After weeks of avoiding the subject, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is now blaming his own staff over his appearance at a white nationalist conference, claiming that "there was a miscommunication."

Gosar's comments, originally reported by Politico, stem from his controversial virtual appearance at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), held in Washington back in March by white nationalist Nick Fuentes. 

"It wasn't supposed to go to Nick's group," Gosar claimed, alleging that his staff sent a pre-recorded "welcome video" to AFPAC. 

"We're kind of short-handed," the conservative said. "And there was miscommunication."

Gosar added that he's "given up … on dealing with Nick. Nick's got a problem with his mouth."

It remains unclear why Gosar apparently waited five weeks to address the matter. 

Gosar's remarks are also dubious considering his attendance at AFPAC last year, which led to him missing a House vote on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

"There is a group of young people that are becoming part of the election process and becoming a bigger force," Gosar said to a crowd of white nationalist youths at the time. "So why not take that energy and listen to what they've got to say?"

RELATED: Arizona's Rep. Paul Gosar: GOP's leading ambassador to white supremacy

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

After that year's event, Fuentes posted a photo of the two men sharing drinks.

"Great meeting today with Congressman Gosar!" Fuentes wrote. "America is truly uncancelled."

opposing women's right to vote, praising Adolf Hitler, and attending the event preceding the Capitol riot. 

RELATED: Who is Nick Fuentes? A young white nationalist who hopes to pull the GOP all the way to Hitler

After Gosar's AFPAC appearance this year, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy condemned the Arizona lawmaker, calling his conduct "unacceptable."

"For me it was appalling and wrong. And there's no place in our party for any of this," McCarthy said at the time. "The party should not be associated any time any place with somebody who is anti-Semitic.

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik was a former staff writer at Salon.

MORE FROM Jon Skolnik

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Afpac America First Political Action Conference Paul Gosar