Tennessee Speaker's top aide resigns over sexually explicit texts: report

Tennessee Speaker's top aide resigns over sexually explicit texts: report
© Getty Images

The top aide to Tennessee’s Republican House Speaker resigned Monday night following a news report that said he had a history of sending sexually explicit text messages and acting inappropriately toward former interns.

Cade Cothren, who was Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff, sent text messages that included asking for oral sex and naked photos from an intern and seeking sex with a lobbyist, the Tennessean reported on Monday.

Casada was found to have engaged in exchanging inappropriate texts with Cothren where the two men objectified women, according to the newspaper.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cothren told the news outlet on Monday that he had sent “derogatory” texts to women but did not go into detail about the content of the messages.

The text messages from Cothren date from from early 2014 to fall 2016, when he served as the press secretary for House Republicans in Tennessee. Cothren also reportedly sent racist text messages that used the N-word.

“I’m just not the same guy that I was several years back,” Cothren told the newspaper. “I was young and dumb and immature. There’s no excuse for it at all, and I’m not trying to make excuses, but I can tell you that I have changed since then.”

He also admitted to using cocaine in his statehouse office before becoming Casada's chief of staff in January.

Casada on Tuesday named a new chief of staff, according to the Tennessean.

The Speaker said he would not be stepping down and apologized for engaging in the inappropriate texts during an interview Tuesday with a local radio station, the Tennessean reported.

"I'm sorry that I did it and I'm embarrassed that I did it," he said Tuesday on Nashville radio station WTN.

Casada described the language used in the texts as "locker room talk,” an explanation also used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE when a “Access Hollywood” tape captured a recording of him making inappropriate comments about women.