Paul Gosar Says Speech To White Nationalists Was Due To 'Miscommunication': Report

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) now insists his controversial video message to a white nationalist conference was due to a “miscommunication” by an aide, Politico reported.

Gosar finally spoke out five weeks after his videotaped address to the America First Political Action Conference triggered a furious backlash. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) spoke in person at the conference, which was organized by controversial far-right leader Nick Fuentes.

Fuentes complained to the audience at the event that the nation had forgotten “young white men.” Participants hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin as a hero and chanted his name.

Gosar told Politico that his address “wasn’t supposed to go to Nick’s group.” He said a staffer “misconstrued” directions from his chief of staff. The tape was actually intended to go to other groups as a general “welcome video,” he added.

“We’re kind of short-handed,” he said. “And there was miscommunication.”

Gosar spoke in person at the same conference last year. Here’s a sample of his speech then:

Gosar insisted his video message this time around “just basically said: ‘Welcome to the Miami area. Have a great conference. The United States is at a crisis point.’”

The groups “authorized” to receive the video, Gosar said, included American Principles and the Conservative Political Action Conference — not America First. Both CPAC and America First were held in Orlando, not Miami, Politico pointed out.

Greene has also been sharply criticized for her attendance.

Following the lawmakers’ participation in the conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said: “There’s no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists or antisemitism.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) described Greene’s and Gosar’s participation as “appalling.” Yet McCarthy decided to take no action to punish the pair.

In a candidate debate in Ohio early this week, Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance defended Greene, who has endorsed him, saying she did “nothing wrong” by attending the America First conference. “I’m not going to throw her under the bus,” said the investor and “Hillbilly Elegy” author.

Vance said he listened to Greene’s remarks at the conference, and “I agreed with nearly every word that she said.”

He also complained that, although Republicans are frequently subjected to “guilt by association” attacks, Democrats are not.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.