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Controversies involving Cawthorn swirling as his re-election bid looms
Thursday, 12 May 2022 13:14

From Staff Reports

WASHINGTON — The United States’ youngest congressman at age 26 has said he won’t “back down” after a naked video of him in bed was leaked, according to a May 6 report by the website BBC.com.

In response, Madison Cawthorn, R-Hendersonville, said the video showed him “being crass with a friend, trying to be funny...

“We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it,” he said. “I’m NOT backing down... blackmail won’t win.”

The Republican, who is up for re-election in North Carolina in the May 17 primary, was first elected at age 25 — the minimum age for U.S. Congress.

“When he entered the national political arena, he was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party,” BBC.com.

“He beat then-President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate in the Republican primary (party activist Linda Bennett), and went on to roundly defeat his Democratic rival in the general election in 2020.

“But Cawthorn, who was partially paralysed in a car accident in 2014, quickly attracted controversy.

“The former real estate investor and motivational speaker sparked backlash from his own party after claiming in a March interview that fellow lawmakers had invited him to orgies, and he had seen them taking cocaine.

“He was also accused of denying medical and family leave to a former congressional staff member before firing her — which he denied.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the top congressional Republican, recently said Cawthorn had to “turn himself around.”

“I just told him he’s lost my trust, and he’s going to have to earn it back,” McCarthy told reporters.

BBC.com added, “Cawthorn also faced rebuke after a video surfaced of him calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a ‘thug’ and the Ukrainian government ‘incredibly evil.’

“And in April, Cawthorn was cited for bringing a loaded handgun through airport security at a North Carolina airport.

“In this most recent episode, leaked video appears to show Cawthorn naked in bed and making thrusting motions on top of an unidentified person.

“The video was released by American Muckrackers, a political fundraising group that opposes Cawthorn,” BBC.com reported.

In a statement, the group said they obtained the video from an anonymous source who used to be a donor for Cawthorn’s campaign.

The leak occurred just days before the 17 May primary election for his congressional seat in North Carolina, where he faces several Republican challengers. Early voting is already underway.

After the video appeared on social media, Cawthorn tweeted, “A new hit against me just dropped. Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it. I’m NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”

 



 


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