On Friday, Slate analyzed how far-right Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) created a new headache for Republicans, by dragging a Trump-manufactured controversy back into the spotlight just as they were trying to move beyond it.
Specifically, the news cycle had just moved past the former president's demand that the Constitution be "terminated" so he could be reinstalled in office, as the news shifted to the investigation on the former president's hoard of classified documents, and the news of Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) winning the runoff and expanding Democrats' Senate majority.
"This likely came as a relief to some Republicans in Congress, who were eager to not have to comment on the latest rantings and ravings of their albatross," reported Molly Olmstead. "Especially because of what he was arguing: That a release of internal documents at Twitter showing employees doing content moderation around attacks on Hunter Biden was related to Trump’s loss in the 2020 election — which of course, he believes he won — and that this kind of 'Massive Fraud' perpetrated by 'Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party' allowed 'for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.'"
"Trump’s remarks meant that Republicans spent days hemming and hawing, trying to simultaneously distance themselves from the soundbite without slamming Trump; downplay the soundbite’s significance; and also stand up for their supposedly favorite document, the Constitution," wrote Olmstead. They had thought they were done with that — but not so much.
"Paul Gosar, it seems, couldn’t help but step in it," wrote Olmstead. "In a since-deleted tweet on his official account, he wrote, on Wednesday, four days after Trump’s missive: 'I support and agree with the former president. Unprecedented fraud requires unprecedented cure.' Impeccable timing! This, of course, spurred a whole new slew of headlines from MSNBC, Rolling Stone, Axios, the New Republic, the Daily Beast, the Independent, the conservative Washington Examiner, and (multiple times over) the Arizona Republic. Rep. Liz Cheney, in a tweet, called the deleted tweet to McCarthy’s attention and asked the Republican House leader if it was 'time to condemn Trump yet.'"
The irony, Olmstead concluded, is that "even Gosar could have saved himself some trouble by just checking the news. Because by the time he was backing Trump up, Trump had already disavowed his previous statement."