Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks during a news conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus about immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border outside the U.S. Capitol on March 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Rep. Paul Gosar seems like an ideal fit as a guest on a QAnon channel that dives deep into the heart of the baseless conspiracy theory that claims Democratic and Hollywood elites are running a satanic pedophile ring.
Besides tacitly endorsing the movement in 2019, Gosar has more recently spread baseless allegations about voter fraud during the 2020 election that first emerged from the QAnon fever swamp. He also allegedly helped organize the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that led to the Capitol insurrection in which QAnon played a central role, and gave the keynote speech at a white nationalist conference last month organized by Nick Fuentes, who marched at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
So when the host of “Digging Deeper,” a show on QAnon channel Patriots Soapbox, announced that Gosar had agreed to come on her show, the most shocking thing about it was that no one seemed all that surprised.
“He has taken a stand against the conservative establishment to support #AmericaFirst and he never wavered,” Radix Verum, the host of “Digging Deeper,” wrote in a automate your posting on the far-right social media site Gab on Tuesday, promoting Gosar’s appearance on her show. “Let’s show him our support. Let him know you have his back!”
But that’s not what Gosar is saying.
After VICE News contacted Gosar’s office about his guest spot on the show, Jessica Lycos, Gosar’s digital director, said it wasn’t happening.
“He is not appearing. He was never confirmed,” she wrote. Lycos did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether Gosar had been in discussions about appearing on the show.
Patriots’ Soapbox did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
The Republican Party has flirted with QAnon but has never openly endorsed the conspiracy movement. Many of its members — such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert—have previously endorsed QAnon, but their comments were made prior to their election to Congress. As a sitting congressman, Gosar’s appearance on one of the main QAnon channels would have marked a new level of involvement in the conspiracy theory for the GOP.
Patriots’ Soapbox launched in 2018 as a round-the-clock YouTube channel that got into the weeds of the QAnon conspiracies, and it continues to do so today. It was created by Coleman Rogers, one of the first people to promote the QAnon conspiracy outside of the confines of the 4chan message board, where it began.
Rogers, who some have even claimed was in fact Q himself, started the QAnon-focused channel with his wife, Christina Urso, also known as Radix Verum, the host who said Gosar had agreed to speak on her show.
Patriots’ Soapbox was ultimately kicked off YouTube, but only a month before the 2020 election, by which time it had built an audience of more than 80,000 subscribers.
The channel has continued broadcasting on DLive — a service designed for gamers but which has recently become a haven for extremists and white supremacists. Patriots’ Soapbox is also available on Roku.
A number of Republican congressional candidates have appeared on the channel in recent years, including then-candidate Lauren Boebert, who was a guest ahead of her surprise victory over incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in the Colorado Republican primary last July.
Although representatives like Boebert and Greene represent a growing trend within the Republican Party of accepting QAnon supporters, the GOP has stopped short of full-throated endorsement of the conspiracy.
But Gosar came pretty close: Back in August 2019, before QAnon really went mainstream but less than two weeks after the FBI labeled the movement a potential domestic terror threat, Gosar tweeted: “have a tip. I think high level FBI agents may have colluded with British agents and Democrat operatives to initiate an illegal coup against @realDonaldTrump.”
In the tweet, he directly referenced a message posted by Q, which was a video of Deadpool eating popcorn because he’s excited Democrats will be arrested.
While Gosar subsequently said he unwittingly posted the link to the Q drop, for some reason, the Arizona representative has never found time in the intervening 18 months to delete the tweet.