In the latest development of Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-NC) endless and notably self-inflicted coke-and-orgy circus, Cawthorn is now somehow suggesting that he never even made the controversial comments in question. Instead, he’s claiming “the left and the media” invented the story.
Last month, you’ll recall that the freshman, far-right Congressman jumped on a conservative podcast and very casually claimed that upon joining Congress, “all of a sudden you get invited to, ‘Well hey, we’re going to have kind of a sexual get together at one of our homes, you should come.’
“I’m like, ‘What did you just ask me to come to do?’ And then you realize they are asking you to come to an orgy,” he said, before further dishing: “Some of the people that are leading on the movement to try to remove addiction in our country, then you watch them do a key bump of cocaine in front of you.”
In the face of outrage from his own party leadership and a weeks-long, captivated media frenzy surrounding the comments, Cawthorn is trying to pretend he never even said them: “My comments on a recent podcast appearance calling out corruption in DC have been used by the left and the media to disparage my Republican colleagues and falsely insinuate their involvement in illicit activities,” he wrote in a new fundraising appeal to supporters. (Did I accidentally start the “House Republicans are doing coke and hosting orgies” rumor???)
For context, it seems quite obvious from Cawthorn’s framing of the allegations that he was alluding to his Republican colleagues. Suffice it to say, we would not have heard the end of it if the alleged coke-doers and orgy hosts had been Democrats. So, when Cawthorn’s brash shooting-of-the shit predictably backfired and Republicans called him out, he performed an equally predictable 180.
Earlier this month, as House Republicans told Cawthorn to “name names,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy essentially called him a liar who needs to “turn his life around,” and even Rep. Matt Gaetz—who is literally under investigation for sex trafficking—threw shade, Cawthorn went into damage control. First, he suggested the incident of a member doing a key bump of coke in front of him was instead “maybe a staffer in a parking garage, maybe 100 yards away.” Next, Cawthorn tried to frame his narcing as somehow brave and empowering—an extension of his vigilant fight against the corrupt DC swamp: “Corruption and unethical activities exist in Washington. It’s an indisputable fact. If you don’t think that’s true, you’ve not witnessed the Swamp,” he wrote.
Now, he’s trying to pretend it’s “the left” and presumably liberal media—not him—who snitched and screwed over his Republican colleagues, despite the fact that there are literal tapes (an entire podcast episode, even) documenting his own statements.
In fairness to Cawthorn, I doubt he was actively trying to attack or place his caucus in a compromising position—he was simply too stupid to predict the consequences of broing out on a dumb podcast. Nonetheless, whatever his intentions, he’s now facing ramifications that could jeopardize his Congressional seat: Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has since called him an “embarrassment,” and Sen. Thom Tillis, the other Republican representing North Carolina, has recently endorsed one of Cawthorn’s primary challengers. And because Cawthorn is running in a new, competitive district following redistricting, he faces a possibly tight race, which makes the desperation in his latest fundraising email all the more transparent.
In any case, as the old adage goes, when it rains it pours: Cawthorn is currently in hot water for blowing thousands of taxpayer dollars on a visit to a luxury resort within days of bitching about supposedly tax dollar-wasting Democrats. He’s also due this week in court for a string of traffic violations, including one incident that revealed his parents are perhaps still making his car payments.
At the end of the day, I have my doubts about parts of Cawthorn’s story—namely that anyone would invite an outed sexual predator to an orgy. But whatever the truth is, I am very much done with developments in this particular news cycle, unless the next update involves the insurrectionist twerp resigning or being voted out in disgrace.