Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the freshman Republican lawmaker from North Carolina, has had a pretty bad couple of months, and things didn’t improve this week.
On Friday, photos of him wearing women’s lingerie surfaced in various reports, forcing him to respond.
“The revelation of the two photos is the latest in a series of unflattering headlines for the freshman member of Congress in the run-up to the primary in his first re-election bid,” Politico reported. “Cawthorn has seven Republican opponents who see him as vulnerable.”
Left with little choice, Cawthorn responded to the report by explaining that the photos were taken during a vacation cruise, though it’s not certain when — but he did post a link to the cruise ship.
“I guess the left thinks goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise (taken waaay before I ran for Congress) is going to somehow hurt me?” Cawthorn wrote on Twitter. “They’re running out of things to throw at me.”
Madison Cawthorn explains: “I guess the left thinks goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise (taken waaay before I ran for Congress) is going to somehow hurt me?”
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 22, 2022
The link went to a Royal Caribbean Cruise blog that noted: “What Royal Caribbean event has you sharing your underwear, putting lipstick on strangers and screaming at the top of your lungs? It’s the Quest game show, the adults-only scavenger hunt that ranks as a cruise can’t-miss.”
“Quest is uproariously fun, supremely competitive, and it’s definitely for adults only, which is why it’s often scheduled after 11 p.m.,” the post continued.
Just last month, Cawthorn created a massive uproar on Capitol Hill when he claimed that members of Congress invited him to orgies and snorted cocaine in front of him.
“Then all of a sudden you get invited. ‘We’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’ ‘What did you just ask me to come to?’ And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy,” Cawthorn claimed without citing any evidence during a podcast. “You watch them do a bump of cocaine right in front of you. And it’s like, this is wild.”
The allegations and claims incited a firestorm within his party, leading to a face-to-face meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Axios reported that Cawthorn told McCarthy some of his comments were “exaggerated” or false.
“I just told him he’s lost my trust, he’s gonna have to earn it back, and I laid out everything I find is unbecoming. And, you can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s got a lot of members very upset,” McCarthy said. “In the interview, he claims he watched people do cocaine. Then when he comes in, he tells me, he says he thinks he saw maybe a staffer in a parking garage from 100 yards away.”
“It’s just frustrating. There’s no evidence behind his statements,” McCarthy continued. “And when I sit down with him … I told him you can’t make statements like that, as a member of Congress, that affects everybody else and the country as a whole.”
Earlier in March, he was ticketed for driving with a revoked license a second time and told he could face some jail time.