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Cawthorn calls Zelenskyy a 'Thug' Amidst Public Opinion Calling the Ukrainian Leader a Hero

The young congressman's comments stand in stark contrast to the opinions of other lawmakers and celebrities across the nation


Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and said the Ukrainian government is “incredibly evil,” in comments contradicting bipartisan public support for Ukraine after its invasion by Russia.

“Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” Cawthorn told supporters at a recent event in North Carolina. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt, and it is incredibly evil, and it has been pushing woke ideologies.”

Cawthorn’s comments were first reported Wednesday night in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Republican strategist Karl Rove.

In the Op-Ed, Rove said Cawthorn and other Republican candidates are “echoing Mr. Trump’s isolationism, and Kremlin apologetics are out of sync with GOP voters.”

Cawthorn responded to the criticism of his statement in a recent post on Twitter. 

On Thursday, Cawthorn also tweeted that he felt Biden was not a deterrent to Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine.

“It should shock no one that Putin wasn’t afraid of Sleepy Joe,” he said.

Cawthorn’s comments and opinions stand in contrast to the public views of many lawmakers and officials. In the two weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, elected officials and celebrities alike have praised Zelenskyy as a hero. 

Senator Mitt Romney has publicly praised the Ukrainian president, calling him a hero for standing up for democracy. 

During the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Michael Keaton said, “We have fellow actor in Zelensky who deserves some credit tonight for fighting the fight.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois told ABC News that when Zelenskyy talks, “I don’t think you can sit there with human emotions and not be moved, not be motivated,” Quigley said.

Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida told CNN that Zelensky is “turning out to be a 21st-century Churchill.” 

“If you look at history, George Washington kept our revolution alive by staying alive,” Waltz said.

As the war in Ukraine continues, opinions of Zelenskyy around the world will continue to develop.

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