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Madison Cawthorn doesn't regret participating in Jan. 6 'Stop the Steal' rally

First-term Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) said he does not regret speaking at the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol, saying the rioters were "unable to check their worst impulses and had very little self-control."

In a portion of a forthcoming interview on “The Carlos Watson Show” shared exclusively with The Hill, Watson, co-founder and CEO of media company OZY, asked Cawthorn if he had any second thoughts about his participation in the rally after looking at the violence that ensued at the Capitol, in which five people died. 

“I don’t regret it, actually, Carlos,” Cawthorn responded. “Obviously, I think what happened on Jan. 6 was despicable. I thought it was conducted by weak-minded men and women who are unable to check their worst impulses and had very little self-control. Completely condemn it.” 

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“But when I did go speak at that rally, I was specifically trying to get across to the people that, ‘Hey, I am in Congress, I am going down to the Capitol right now to speak on your behalf,’ ” he added in the interview, which is set appear in Monday’s episode of the YouTube series. 

The rally, which former President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE also addressed, was organized as part of an effort to challenge the 2020 election results based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. 

At the event, Cawthorn said, “This crowd has some fight in it. ... The Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.”

“We’re not doing this just for Donald Trump, we are doing this for the Constitution,” he added. 

In his interview with Watson, Cawthorn said he "wasn’t down there saying that there was a fraudulent system within Dominion voting machines, or there were U-Haul trucks being backed up with tons of ballots that were fraudulently marked, because I couldn’t personally prove that,” referring to unsupported theories advanced by Trump and some of his allies regarding the election. 

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“I definitely didn’t try to feed into that narrative,” he continued. "But I do believe, specifically in Wisconsin, which was the state that I personally debated upon, there were some constitutional infractions about the way they carried out their elections.” 

Multiple lawsuits pursued by the Trump campaign with various claims concerning ballots in Wisconsin were thrown out by courts. 

Cawthorn has continued to argue that there were issues with ballots in Wisconsin, including in a CNN appearance late last month in which he claimed that there was an appointed official in the capital of Madison “who actually went against the will of the state legislature and created ballot drop boxes.” 

Several individuals and groups have condemned Cawthorn and others involved in the rally ahead of the deadly Capitol breach, including liberal watchdog group Campaign for Accountability, which last month accused Cawthorn, as well as fellow GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' Kinzinger: Republicans who join 'America First' caucus should be stripped of committees McCarthy: GOP not the party of 'nativist dog whistles' MORE (Ariz.) of inciting the riot as part of “a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College.”

The group is also asking the House ethics office to recommend the congressmen be expelled from the House if it is found that they violated federal law.

A week after the Capitol assault, the House impeached Trump for the second time, accusing him of fomenting insurrection. Trump's trial in the Senate is set to begin Tuesday.