Cawthorn calls nude tape ‘blackmail’
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) has called a recently leaked videotape in which he can be seen nude “blackmail,” saying he won’t back down after the “hit against me.”
The North Carolina lawmaker in a tweet acknowledged that the video was authentic and said that he was joking around with a friend.
“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,” Cawthron wrote in his tweet. “That’s it.”
“I’m NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign,” Cawthorn continued in the tweet. “Blackmail won’t win. We will.”
The comments from the first-term lawmaker come after the American Muckrakers PAC, an opposition group campaigning against Cawthorn, said they posted the video after receiving it from an anonymous source who said they used to be a Cawthorn donor.
“Madison Cawthorn should resign from Congress today. While his sexual orientation or behavior behind closed doors is no interest whatsoever to us, his actions should have consequences,” Muckrakers PAC President David B. Wheeler said in a statement on the posting of the video.
“Ask him for any of this information. We do not know those details. We do know Rep. Cawthorn shouldn’t be in Congress regardless of when this video was taken. We don’t have any further comment at this time.”
“They’re going to drop an attack article every one or two days just to try and kill us with a death by 1,000 cuts, and that is really their main strategy,” Cawthorn, 26, said in the April Instagram post.
The video’s release comes as Cawthorn, who is up for reelection in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, has dealt with multiple controversies and faced rebuke from fellow GOP members of Congress.
The 26-year-old recently received backlash from fellow Republicans after making a claim in a radio interview that lawmakers had invited him to do cocaine and attend orgies. He was also accused by a former congressional staffer of improperly denying her medical and family leave and later firing her.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that Cawthorn had to “turn himself around.”
Cawthorn, who also recently had photos leaked of him wearing women’s lingerie at a party, was cited last month for attempting to bring a loaded firearm through security at a Charlotte, N.C., area airport.
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