Madison Cawthorn vows to 'keep fighting' after series of scandals, leaked videos
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Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina says he will "keep fighting" despite an onslaught of controversy, leaked videos and personal attacks targeting him in recent weeks.
Cawthorn has been at the center of a media firestorm stretching back as far as his off-the-cuff interview comments about cocaine and orgies in Washington D.C. Since then, Cawthorn has been disciplined by the GOP, torched by fellow Republicans and had multiple compromising videos leaked.
A story published Friday said Cawthorn paid second cousin Stephen Smith $141,000 for work with Cawthorn's campaign and congressional office since 2020.
"I’m ready to keep fighting for you. I wanted you to know the truth, straight from me. Don’t lose hope, don’t listen to the fake news," Cawthron wrote on his social media page Saturday.
"Don’t let the swamp of Washington dissuade or distract you from sending a warrior back to Washington. I’ve only just begun to fight for you."
The North Carolina Republican's series of blowups began after he casually claimed to have been invited to orgies and witnessed cocaine use by other congressmen.
In an interview for the "Warrior Poet Society" podcast, Cawthorn recounted what he called an invitation "to an orgy," saying he has been sexually solicited by Washington officials. He also claims to have witnessed hard drug use and what he called "espionage."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly ripped into Cawthorn over the claims, though Cawthorn did not walk any of his words back.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club Dec. 1, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The representative was forced to respond to the publication of a nude video of him. Cawthorn claimed it is part of a "blackmail" campaign meant to hurt his chances of winning re-election this year.
Last week, a different video surfaced showing the congressman joking about sex with his male aide in a car.
Cawthorn said in his defense that "only fighters are attacked."
In another social media post, the congressman observed, "Many of my colleagues would be nowhere near politics if they had grown up with a cellphone in their hands."
Cawthorn then bragged on Twitter that he had "gained 43,000 followers since the coordinated assault against me and my re-election.
Cawthorn was cited for being in possession of a gun at Charlotte Douglas International Airport last month. A TSA spokesperson confirmed that a loaded Staccato 9mm handgun was detected at checkpoint D.
It's the second time Cawthorn has been stopped with a gun at an airport. Security personnel found a 9mm handgun in his carry-on bag at Asheville Regional Airport in February 2021, according to WSOC.
Fox News' Paul Best and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.