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Twitter flags GOP lawmaker's anime video depicting him killing Ocasio-Cortez, attacking Biden as 'hateful conduct'

Twitter flagged the tweet Monday evening, saying it violated its policy on "hateful conduct." However, the post remained accessible for the "public interest."
Image: Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., walks down the House steps on April 18, 2018.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., walks down the House steps on April 18, 2018.Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Twitter added a warning label Monday to a tweet from a Republican lawmaker that depicted an animated killing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and an attack on President Joe Biden — saying the post violated the company's rules on "hateful conduct."

But the tweet, from Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., will remain accessible for the "public interest," Twitter said in its notice.

Gosar shared an altered video Sunday evening in which he and other Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, are depicted as heroes from the Japanese anime series "Attack on Titan."

The post-apocalyptic series revolves around a small civilization that lives in a bordered-off city to protect itself from giant human-like creatures called Titans.

Ocasio-Cortez's face is superimposed on one of the Titans, who is killed by Gosar's character.

His character also attacks a Titan with Biden's face.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet, calling Gosar "creepy" and criticizing GOP leaders.

"And he'll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses," she wrote, referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don't protect woc," or women of color.

Gosar, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, has been at the forefront of efforts to downplay the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He made headlines in 2018 when six of his siblings appeared in an ad endorsing his congressional opponent. Gosar's siblings later pressed for him to be removed from office for his fringe views.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called on the House ethics committee to investigate the tweet.

"Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated," she said in a tweet.

"Happy Monday in America, where@GOPLeader McCarthy's colleague just posted a video of himself swinging two swords at President Biden. These blood thirsty losers are more comfortable with violence than voting. Keep exposing them," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif, tweeted Monday, tagging McCarthy.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., characterized Gosar's actions as "sick behavior."

"In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired," Lieu tweeted.

Gosar hit back at his critics in a lengthy statement Tuesday, calling the backlash a "gross mischaracterization of a short anime video produced by his office.”

“This video is truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy," Gosar said. “The depiction of Mr. Biden pertains to his administration’s decision to leave the border open while illegal aliens invade from all points."

Gosar did not apologize.

“It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly. The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America First agenda,” he added.

The video, which Gosar also posted on Instagram, appears to include video of migrants at the U.S. southern border — similar to a 2018 ad tweeted by Trump.

In the clip shared by Gosar, video of migrants and border patrol agents is intermixed with ​​animated scenes in which the words "drugs," "crime," "poverty," "money," "murder," "gangs," "violence" and "trafficking" appear on the screen.

McCarthy's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday; neither did Greene's or Boebert's.

Instagram did not immediately respond to a question about whether the video violates its policies.