U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, a far-right Republican and major supporter of Donald Trump, tweeted and then deleted a false allegation that "a transsexual leftist illegal alien" was responsible for the mass shooting Tuesday at a Texas elementary school.
Gosar's tweet came in response to another Twitter user who wondered if the shooter was the type of "trash" who supported Gosar and his ideological allies, such as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, The Arizona Republic reports.
Gosar responded, "We know already fool. It's a transsexual leftist illegal alien. ... It's apparently your kind of trash." The tweet was on his personal account, not his U.S. House feed. He eventually deleted the message, and the person he was responding to deleted the comment that led to Gosar's remark, but there are screen shots of the tweets.
Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in a fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School. The shooter was killed by police. The attack has prompted calls, mostly from Democrats, for further gun regulations.
Gosar wasn't the only one to allege the shooter was transgender or gender-nonconforming. "Photos purporting to show [the shooter] in skirts quickly circulated on social media, though they were debunked as featuring a person who doesn't live in Texas and wasn't involved in the slayings," the Republic reports.
In a commentary piece for the Republic, Laurie Roberts wrote that Gosar "has shown himself, yet again, to be completely unfit for office." She noted, "There is not so much as a shred of evidence that Ramos was a transexual, or a leftist, or an 'illegal alien.'"
However, she predicted that no Republican leader in Arizona will denounce him and that he will be reelected "in a landslide."