U.S. Rep Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), a freshman and Congress’ youngest member, said this week that Washington leaders he respected did cocaine in front of him and invited him to attend a sexual get-together.
Cawthorn, who came under fire from both parties for controversial statements, was being interviewed for a podcast called Warrior Poet Society when he made the explosive claims. The revelations came when he was asked about the Netflix series House of Cards. The show, which aired for six seasons through 2018, portrayed Washington as a cesspool of corruption, power, money and perversion.
The representative from western North Carolina, who is 26, responded that he was approached by a political leader about a “get together at one of our houses” for sexual activities. Cawthorn recounted another legislator, who he described as someone at the forefront of fighting against drug addiction, did a “bump of cocaine” right in front of him.
Cawthorn expressed shock at the invitation and open drug use, telling the interviewer that he has always followed politics and admired some of these people his entire life. The representative also noted the ages of the people he referred to as averaging “60 or 70.”
A Raleigh TV station recently aired a video of Cawthorn addressing a group of supporters in Asheville in which he denigrated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his country. “Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug,” Cawthorn told the audience before adding that the Ukrainian government is “incredibly corrupt” and “incredibly evil.”
Reaction to his comments was swift and condemnation came from both sides of the political aisle. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that 90% of Americans are with Ukraine in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. He added that any member of Congress who makes such statements is an “outlier.”
Two candidates running against Cawthorn in the North Carolina district’s Republican primary also slammed the remarks. Cawthorn tried to clarify his views after the backlash, saying he was praying for Ukraine but adding that its leaders should not push “misinformation” on the U.S.
Cawthorn, who went on to describe working in the nation’s capital as the “worst job in the world,” may be free of that burden before long. Most pundits assume the congressman, not known for building relationships across the aisle, was likely accusing fellow Republicans of the illicit behavior.
Cawthorn to Speak at Trump Rally Despite GOP Fury Over Orgy, Cocaine Claim
North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn is set to give remarks at an upcoming Trump rally despite anger from some in the party over his recent comments about orgies and drugs.
In a Friday release, Cawthorn’s name was listed under the “special guest speakers” at a rally where former GOP President Donald Trump is also scheduled to deliver remarks in Selma, North Carolina, on April 9. Cawthorn’s inclusion comes after Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy said the freshman congressman’s recent claims about being invited to sexual get-togethers and witnessing drug use were exaggerated.
On Wednesday, Cawthorn had a 30-minute meeting with McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise following his allegations, which reportedly upset many of his House Republican colleagues.
Next Saturday night’s rally in the Tar Heel State is being held as a show of support for U.S. Representative Ted Budd, who is running for the U.S. Senate in the state, as well as other candidates the former president has endorsed, according to The News & Observer.
Thom Tillis, a GOP senator from Cawthorn’s home state of North Carolina, announced that he would not be backing Cawthorn in his upcoming May primary, instead choosing to endorse one of his opponents, state Senator Chuck Edwards.
In announcing his support of Edwards over Cawthorn in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district primary, Tillis said the district “deserves a congressman who is fully dedicated to serving their constituents,” according to The Hill.
Tillis went on to say that Edwards “would never turn his back on Western North Carolina or abandon his constituents for the sake of political expediency,” The Hill reported.
Another Republican senator from North Carolina, the retiring Richard Burr, has said that he does not plan to get involved in Cawthorn’s primary.
Earlier this week, in comments to CNN, Burr mentioned in reference to Cawthorn that “on any given day, he’s an embarrassment.”
Other GOP leaders in North Carolina have begun backing Edwards over Cawthorn in the May primary. Republican state House speaker Tim Moore and state Senate leader Kathy Harrington attended a fundraiser for Edwards this week.
Moore, in an interview with CBS affiliate WNCN, referred to Cawthorn as a clown.
“If you have clowns in office who aren’t serious about what they’re doing, you can’t get somewhere. I’m just kind of without the words to describe what Congressman Cawthorn is doing and saying. I mean, some of these ridiculous recent comments that continue to build on one another,” Moore said to WNCN.
This comes after a video surfaced in early March in which Cawthorn, while speaking to supporters, referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “thug.” In his remarks, Cawthorn also called the Ukrainian government “corrupt” and “incredibly evil.”
In addition to Budd and Cawthorn, Bo Hines, a candidate for North Carolina’s 13th congressional district, is scheduled to speak at the rally.
Newsweek reached out to a Trump spokesperson and Cawthorn’s office for comment but did not hear back before publication.