Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to apologize for allowing “hate to seethe from his office” following a TPM report that detailed evidence tying Gosar’s digital director, Wade Searle, to Neo-Nazi leader Nick Fuentes.
“Mr. Gosar owes his constituents and all Americans an apology for allowing this kind of hate to seethe from his office, and the staff member in question should no longer work for Congress,” Horsford told TPM in a Wednesday statement.
Horsford’s statement comes as lawmakers have slammed Gosar for hiring Searle and an intern, Landen Petersen, both of whom are linked to an interconnected network of social media pages that espoused extremist rhetoric about Jewish people and people of color.
On Tuesday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), co-chair of the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus, called for an investigation into Searle and the Fuentes connections surfaced in TPM’s reporting.
“This reporting is very disturbing, especially in light of the Congressman’s past social media activity. Speaker McCarthy must investigate these reports, and if accurate, pursue further action,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement to TPM. “No Member, regardless of party, should employ anyone who spreads dangerous, hateful Neo-Nazi and white-supremacist propaganda. If these allegations are true, this individual should be terminated.”
Other groups, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League and Arizona-based Jewish organizations, also condemned Gosar following TPM’s reporting.
In his statement to TPM, Horsford drew a connection between extremist rhetoric and violence targeting people of color and LGBTQ people in the U.S.
“Nationwide, we are seeing a rise in violence and threats against many communities – especially communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community. As Members of Congress, we should be working to unify our nation and help Americans in need. Instead, we see hate being legislated in many state capitals and even by our Republican colleagues here in DC. As elected representatives entrusted by our constituents to represent them, we should make sure our staff reflects the sense of duty to the people who elected us, and not instead promoting an agenda of hate and white supremacy,” Horsford told TPM.