A Republican congressman from Montana posed for a picture in front of the Capitol with members of the far-right neo-Nazi movement last week. Rep. Matt Rosendale said the photo with the neo-Nazis was a mistake and claimed he unwittingly posed with the men.
One of the neo-Nazis appeared to be wearing a trench coat of a style worn by German soldiers in the second world war.
Rosendale was elected to the House in 2020. He is a member of the hard-right Freedom Caucus.
In the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, he was one of 147 Republicans in Congress who voted to overturn election results in Donald Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden.
The picture of Rosendale with the neo-Nazis spread on social media last week.
Two of three men posing with Rosendale were identified as Ryan Sanchez, formerly of the white supremacist street-fighting gang Rise Above Movement, and Greyson Arnold, a Nazi sympathizer, and podcaster present at the January 6 insurrection.
Sanchez, a former U.S. Marine, was wearing the German army-style coat. Arnold is a far-right blogger and commentator who has called Adolf Hitler a “complicated historical figure”.
Rosendale has faced scrutiny in the past for his connections to fringe groups on the far right.
In 2014, a photo was taken of him speaking at an Oath Keepers rally in Montana. The leader of that group, Stewart Rhodes, was convicted last year of seditious conspiracy for his role in the Capitol riot; he has yet to be sentenced.
Rosendale is not the first Republican to have been linked to Arnold.
Examination of the congressional schedule for March 1 appeared to cast doubt on Rosendale’s claim to have been walking between hearings when he posed for the picture.