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Paul Gosar, star guest at far-right event, denies involvement

In bright blue and red lettering, Representative Paul A. Gosar is featured as a “star guest” on a promotion for the April 20 event of a far-right group in his home country.

Over the weekend, the Arizona Republican shared details about the American Populist Union mixer on his Instagram account, according to the Arizona Mirror, which first reported on the event. But in emails to the Washington Post, Gosar’s office denied the congressman would attend.

“I never endorsed this event and I never spoke to this group,” Rory McShane, Gosar’s campaign consultant, told The Post. “The only event we have that day is a farm tour.”

Asked about Gosar apparently sharing the details on Instagram, McShane said, “I don’t know, but I didn’t approve of it.”

The ticketed event in Tempe is hosted by the American Populist Union, a group the Anti-Defamation League says “stands for anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and views the modern GOP as a corrupt globalist conservative establishment.” The nonprofit with mostly college-age members, according to the ADL, is “Groyper-esque” — a reference to a white supremacist group.

The American Populist Union promoted a Republican Party takeover on its website and hailed foreigners populist strongmen like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Twitter.

After Gosar’s office denied involvement in the group’s event, American Populist Union executive director CJ Trapeur said in a statement to The Post that “there appears to be a misunderstanding and conflict of ‘schedule’ with the congressman’s office.

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Gosar was billed to appear alongside John Doyle, host of a YouTube channel called “Heck Off, Commie!” On his show, Doyle often called President Biden’s election “fraudulent” and said liberalism was tied to Satanism.

Doyle, whom the ADL calls “a prominent figure in the American Populist Union,” has more than 330,000 subscribers on YouTube — a platform where he has made racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic slurs, Insider reported. He claimed that women should not be allowed to vote and that Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement had a “terrible legacy”.

Trapeur, in his statement, denied reports that the American Populist Union had ties to white nationalism. He also disputed claims that the group timed their event for April 20 to coincide with Adolf Hitler’s birthday — a date often commemorated by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, according to the ADL.

“The 20 was simply due to price and site availability,” Trapeur said.

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Gosar’s expected attendance at the event sparked a fresh wave of backlash after the congressman made a video appearance at a conference in February hosted by Nicholas Fuentes, a white nationalist activist who attended the deadly rally. Unite the Right 2017 in Charlottesville. Fuentes has inspired a large audience of people who consider themselves the “Groyper Army”. With an active online presence, the “America First”-aligned group reaches out to a growing number of young Republicans moving closer to the right.

Gosar blamed his appearance at Fuentes’ event on a staff member who “misinterpreted” instructions, Politico reported.

“It wasn’t supposed to go,” Gosar told the outlet, saying the video was meant to be a general “welcome video” for other events.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also spoke in person at the event. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he met privately with Gosar and Greene, deeming their attendance at the conference “unacceptable,” The Post reported. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also released a statement in response to the event, saying, “There is no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists.

Gosar also attended Fuentes’ conference last year.

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Tickets for this month’s American Populist Social range from $45 to $59.99. Organizers say more guests will be announced and attendees will have “a chance to meet some of the top legislatures, top election contenders and media personalities in the country!”

But so far, two of the three announced speakers have distanced themselves from the event.

Arizona State Senator Warren Petersen was also on the guest list. However, the Republican lawmaker told the Arizona Mirror that he “respectfully declined to speak” after realizing the rally was being organized by an organization he was unfamiliar with.

Hours after Gosar’s office challenged his involvement, the American Populist Union removed mentions of the congressman from its Eventbrite listing – though a tweet promoting his attendance stay on twitter.


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