Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) is under fire after tweeting out a doctored image of President Barack Obama with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Gosar, a Republican with a penchant for creating controversy, shared the image on Monday with the caption, “The world is a better place without these two in power.” He was immediately criticized given that the image was doctored and Rouhani is still in power, serving as Iran’s president.
The world is a better place without these guys in power. pic.twitter.com/gDoXQu9vO5— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
First, it was reporters from news outlets across the country who fact-checked Gosar in real-time.
1. This photo is fake (photoshopped)— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 6, 2020
2. The man on the left is Hassan Rouhani, who is still President of Iran
3. It's embarrassing that you are a United States Congressman https://t.co/ikREslNV3K
How sad is it that a member of Congress tweets a photoshopped image? Obama and Iran's Rouhani spoke by phone but never met in person. https://t.co/HTifrQ95tE— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 6, 2020
Then some politicians got in on the criticism, too. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mn.) shared the tweet, calling it “shameless” and insisting Gosar “do better.”
The GOP’s commitment to the distribution and trafficking of misinformation is alarming.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 6, 2020
This is a sitting member of Congress sharing a photoshopped image of President Obama.
Congressman, this is disgraceful and shameless act, do better! https://t.co/v6wzJhF2jq
Gosar responded to Omar, saying it didn’t “mean squat” to be “scolded from someone recently voted the No. 1 anti-Semite.” He called the photo “an artistic expression of Obama’s support for a terrorist regime.” Gosar also took issue with the reporters who called out the fake picture, claiming he knew it was photoshopped.
1. To the dim witted reporters like @dmedin11: no one said this wasn’t photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person.— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
The tweet says: “the world is a better place without either of them in power”. https://t.co/zwLPPXniQh
While it’s unclear whether Gosar knew the photo was fake or not, The Washington Post reported that it was “the third time in two months that the lawmaker has tweeted conspiratorial messages or misinformation.” He also posted an acrostic that spelled out Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself on his account, and even shared a now-deleted tweet claiming that George Soros’s son was the whistleblower that set off the impeachment inquiry.
Gosar continued to defend his tweet, which is still live on his account, throughout the day.
“The point remains to all but the dimmest,” Gosar said on Twitter. “Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror.”