Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar flips stance on right-wing group

Rep. Paul Gosar/Twitter

By Ronald J. Hansen |Arizona Republic

Rep. Paul Gosar has once again brought national attention to a far-right group and its efforts with his name dangled as a participant, only to be later disavowed.

Gosar, R-Ariz., has promoted an event in Tempe for the American Populist Union, a relatively new group popular with “Groypers,” that falls on a day revered by extremists: Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

Gosar’s office denied Thursday he was planning to attend the group’s conference or address it in any way, though he has mentioned it on his Instagram account and the group touted it on its Twitter feed.

The denial came after his potential involvement was first reported by the Arizona Mirror and ricocheted up to the Washington Post, Rolling Stone and MSNBC. 

The APU said Gosar withdrew from the event because of a scheduling conflict.

The Anti-Defamation League has cast the APU as “a Groyper-esque group that champions anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and regards the modern GOP as a corrupt, globalist conservative establishment.”

The latest flap comes days after Gosar sought to distance himself from Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist whose group Gosar addressed in person in 2021 and greeted by video message in February. He told Politico that a staffer mistakenly sent the message to Fuentes’ group. 

Gosar has been linked to a fundraiser with Fuentes that was later walked back. 

RELATED: Putinistas’ Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar vote against bill to document Russian war crimes

Last year, he and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., were linked to the formation of an “America First” caucus on Capitol Hill that was abandoned after rare, bipartisan pushback.

Gosar’s bare-knuckles political style has long appealed to extremists in the U.S., Great Britain and put him on the same side as authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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