“I never approved this event and have never spoken to this group,” Rory McShane, Gosar’s campaign consultant, told The Post. “The only event we have that day is a farm tour.”
When asked about Gosar apparently sharing the details on Instagram, McShane said: “I don’t know, but I didn’t approve it.”
The ticketed event in Tempe is hosted by the American Populist Union, a group the Anti-Defamation League says “champions anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and regards the modern GOP as a corrupt, globalist conservative establishment.” The nonprofit organization with mostly college-aged membersaccording to the ADL, is “Groyper-esque” — a reference to a white supremacist group.
After Gosar’s office denied his involvement in the group’s event, the American Populist Union’s chief operating officer, CJ Trapeur, said in a statement to The Post that “there seems to be a misunderstanding and scheduling conflict” with the congressman’s office.
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Gosar was billed to appear alongside John Doyle, a host of a YouTube channel called “Heck Off, Commie!” In his show, Doyle has often decried President Biden’s election as “fraudulent” and said liberalism is connected to satanism.
Doyle, whom the ADL calls “a prominent figure of the American Populist Union,” has over 330,000 subscribers on YouTube — a platform in which he has made racist, misogynist and antisemitic remarks, insider reportd. He claimed women should not be allowed to vote and that Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement had “terrible legacies.”
Trapeur, in his statement, denied reports that the American Populist Union has white nationalist ties. He also disputed claims that the group scheduled its event on 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 20th was simply due to venue pricing and availability,” Trapeur said.
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Gosar’s expected presence at the event brought a new wave of backlash after the congressman made a video appearance at a February conference organized by Nicholas Fuentes, a white-nationalist activist who attended the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Fuentes has inspired a large following of people who deem themselves the “Groyper Army.” With an active online presence, the “America First”-aligned group caters to a growing number of young Republicans edging further to the right.
Gosar blamed his cameo at Fuentes’s event on a staffer who “misconstrued” directions, Politico reported.
“It wasn’t supposed to go,” Gosar told the outlet, saying the video was supposed to be a general “welcome video” for other events.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also spoke in person at that event. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he met privately with Gosar and Greene, deeming their involvement in the conference “unacceptable,” The Post reported. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also issued a statement in response to the event, saying, “There’s no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists.”
Gosar also attended Fuentes’s 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 best legislatures, best people running for office, and media personalities in the country!”
But so far, two of three billed speakers have distanced themselves from the event.
Arizona state Sen. Warren Petersen was also listed as a featured guest. However, the Republican lawmaker told the Arizona Mirror that he had “respectfully declined to speak” after realizing the gathering was hosted by an organization unfamiliar to him.
Hours after Gosar’s office disputed his involvement, the American Populist Union removed mentions of the congressman from its Eventbrite listing — though a tweet promoting his attendance remains on Twitter.