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Arizona Senate probes lawmaker who suggested Buffalo shooting was a false flag

Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers is at the center of an ethics investigation stemming from her response to the racist massacre.


Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Trump-endorsed member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, is yet again at the center of an ethics investigation related to white nationalism. 

On Monday, Arizona’s Senate Ethics Committee opened an investigation to determine whether one of Rogers’ social media posts responding to the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday was “inappropriate of an elected official with this body.”

Arizona state Sen. Rick Gray, another Republican, made the motion to investigate Rogers’ post on Monday after a Democrat-led effort to expel her from the Legislature failed.

So, what did the bigoted, self-proclaimed “sweet grandma” do this time?

Immediately following the massacre, which left 10 people dead, Rogers posted on the social media platform Telegram what looked like a conspiracy theory alleging the shooting had been staged by the government. 

“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” Rogers wrote, appropriating Black slang to seemingly deflect blame from the white nationalist who livestreamed the massacre and released an apparent manifesto explaining his hate.

Republicans and conservative media figures routinely resort to this kind of deflection — alleging a government conspiracy — whenever a mass shooting garners widespread attention. But in this case, Rogers’ conspiratorial drivel is particularly on-brand. It both downplays gun violence and capes for a white nationalist, which has gotten Rogers in trouble in the past. 

The Arizona Senate censured Rogers in March for a speech she delivered to a white nationalist conference organized by far-right extremist Nick Fuentes earlier this year.

“I truly respect Nick because he’s the most persecuted man in America,” she said at one point during her virtual address, according to The Arizona Mirror. She reportedly said Fuentes was “standing up to tyranny” with his white nationalist group.

As I wrote at the time, the censure vote sent her into a crazed diatribe in which she accused Republicans of “colluding” with Democrats to take her down. 

Rogers is no stranger to political extremism. She hitched her political fortunes to a deranged conservative movement — as her Telegram post about Buffalo shows — and has cast herself as one of its matriarchs. But a “sweet grandma” she is not. Clearly.