“Threats of violence against members of Congress and the president of the United States must not be tolerated,” Pelosi said on Tuesday in a Twitter post. She urged House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) to join her in condemning the “horrific video” and calling for criminal and House Ethics Committee investigations.
At issue is a video that Representative Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) tweeted on Sunday with a picture of his face photoshopped onto a character from the anime show ‘Attack on Titan.’ Gosar’s character is shown attacking monsters with the faces of President Joe Biden and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) edited onto them.
The viral video drew backlash from Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, who called Gosar a “collection of wet toothpicks.”
“White supremacy is for extremely fragile people and sad men like him, whose self-concept relies on the myth that he was born superior because deep down, he knows he couldn’t open a pickle jar or read a whole book by himself,” she added.
Other members of Congress, such as Representative Ted Lieu (D-California), called for Gosar to be expelled from the House or lose his committee positions. At least one Republican, Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), said the GOP should condemn the video. Representative Cori Bush (D-Missouri) called Gosar a “white supremacist clown.”
READ MORE: Bizarre anime opening parody featuring photoshopped faces of Biden and other politicians triggers Democrats
However, Pelosi’s call to action took the response to another level, suggesting that the Arizona Republican may have committed a crime with his anime parody.
Democrats have increasingly tried to criminalize mockery of their leaders. In fact, NBC News earlier this month suggested that engraving the anti-Biden “Let’s Go Brandon” meme on a gun part might represent a security threat against the president. A CNN analyst likened the meme to rhetoric from ISIS, Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
Twitter restricted distribution of Gosar’s video on Monday, blocking likes, replies and retweets and adding a warning label saying the congressman’s post violated its policy against “hateful conduct.”
Gosar mocked the outrage over his video, tweeting another meme on Tuesday. It showed a crying Wojak figure saying, “Your cartoon anime scares me with your jet pack flying and light sabers.” A calm-looking Yes Chad meme replies, “It’s a cartoon. Relax.”
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