Paul Gosar Keeps Finding Himself Surrounded by Young Racists

The far-right congressman from Arizona, Paul Gosar, just keeps finding himself in the company of young racists. 

Two more of Gosar’s former staffers were recently exposed by The Arizona Mirror as “groypers”—acolytes of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. Last year, Gosar’s digital director Wade Searle was outed as a high-ranking groyper by Talking Points Memo. 

According to The Mirror, Alexander Katsnelson interned for Gosar during two periods between September 2021 and June 2022, and was brought on as a “temporary employee” through August 2022. Samuel King, who has a long record of making racist, antisemitic, and misogynistic statements online, reportedly interned for Gosar in May and June 2023.

A representative from Gosar’s campaign did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment. They did give a statement to the Arizona Mirror, however, declaring that “Congressman Gosar has the longest and most thorough record of support for Israel and the Jewish people in the House, since 2011 and has been honored by several Jewish-American organizations for such.” They added that Gosar “condemns antisemitism, racism and homophobia in all forms, whether it is from Rashida Tlaib or an intern,” and said none of the interns work for him currently and “are responsible for their own statements.” 

The Mirror’s report sheds some light on the depths of Gosar’s relationship to the groyper world and Fuentes’ organization, “America First.” 

Fuentes and other groypers had made inroads into the fringes of Republican electoral politics via the “Stop the Steal” movement. 

In February 2021, Gosar was a keynote speaker at the second annual America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), hosted by Fuentes the same weekend as CPAC, one of the biggest conservative events in the U.S. Following that event, Fuentes posted a photo of himself and Gosar having coffee together, along with the caption “great meeting!” Gosar routinely amplified Fuentes’ posts on his own social media, which included Gab. He appeared as a remote speaker at Fuentes’ AFPAC the following year (which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at in person). 

The public backlash to lawmakers’ involvement in Fuentes’ 2022 conference was fiercer than years prior. That was due, in part, to Fuentes getting increasingly explicit with his antisemitism, racism, and misogyny on his nightly live streams. Gosar ultimately disavowed Fuentes, saying he “had a problem with his mouth.” (Greene also later disavowed Fuentes, after he joined rapper Ye, formerly Kanye West, for a series of highly-publicized anti-semitic rantings). 

Gosar isn’t the only right-wing lawmaker who has had a groyper problem. A groyper who was working for Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign was fired last July after sharing a video that drew a favorable comparison between Florida’s governor and nazism, according to The Daily Beast. And Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch reported last August that Rep. Greene hired Lance Smith, a web and graphic designer who managed domains associated with Fuentes, to oversee production of her podcast and the creative direction of her campaign throughout 2022 and into 2023. 

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