By Eva McKend, Melanie Zanona and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming called out two members of her conference who spoke at an event organized by White nationalist Nick Fuentes.
“As Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep Paul Gosar speak at this white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Putin event, silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling,” Cheney tweeted Saturday.
“All Americans should renounce this garbage and reject the Putin wing of the GOP now,” she added.
Greene, a Georgia Republican, spoke at the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Friday — an event founded by the far-right activist Fuentes as an alternative to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which is taking place this week.
Gosar appeared at the American First Political Action Conference via a pre-recorded video, HuffPost reported. The Arizona Republican attended the same conference last year, and Cheney was the only member of House GOP leadership to directly call him out over it at the time.
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who, like Cheney, has been increasingly marginalized within the GOP after criticizing former President Donald Trump’s hold on the party, also made his criticism known, tweeting Saturday at Greene, “If this was not bizarro world, you would be the one censured and excommunicated from the GOP.”
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney backed up Cheney’s remarks in an interview Sunday with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“Liz Cheney was right with that statement and has been right for a long time,” the Republican senator said. “There’s no place in either political party for this White nationalism or racism. It’s simply wrong.”
Fuentes, who has been labeled a White supremacist by the US Justice Department and the Anti-Defamation League, has been banned from most major social media platforms for his White nationalist rhetoric.
After Russian forces invaded Ukraine this week, Fuentes wrote on the messaging app Telegram, “I am totally rooting for Russia,” while also referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “my Czar.”
And the Republican Jewish Coalition took aim at Greene and Gosar for associating with Fuentes.
“It is appalling and outrageous that a Member of Congress would share a platform with an individual who has actively spread antisemitic bile, mocked the Holocaust, and promoted dangerous anti-Israel conspiracy theories,” the coalition said in a statement.
Greene, meanwhile, defended her appearance at the event.
“I am not going to play the guilt by association game in which you demand every conservative should justify anything ever said by anyone they’ve ever shared a room with. I’m not going to be drawn into that. I’m only responsible for what I say,” she said in a statement Saturday.
“I’m also not going to turn down the opportunity to speak to 1,200 young America First patriots because of a few off-color remarks by another speaker, even if I find those remarks unsavory,” she added.
She told reporters at CPAC on Saturday that she doesn’t know Fuentes, or about his views, and condemned Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.
Gosar and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Greene and Gosar have a history of pushing conspiracy theories and espousing inflammatory rhetoric. House Democrats voted to strip both lawmakers from their committee assignments last year. Gosar was also formally censured by the House in November over posting a violent anime video that depicted him killing a Democratic House member.
Last year, Gosar denied knowing about a fundraiser Fuentes planned to host for him.
Fuentes was also present on US Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, and was subpoenaed by the House panel investigating the attack. He has promoted unsupported theories about fraud in the 2020 election.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the titles of the America First Political Action Conference and the Conservative Political Action Conference.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.