Former President Donald Trump is urging supporters to give Rep. Madison Cawthorn “another chance” ahead of the North Carolina Republican primary on Tuesday.
Trump previously endorsed Cawthorn in March, but the congressman has been the subject of relentless attacks from his opposition in recent months.
Trump comes to the defense of Rep. Cawthorn and says that while he’s recently made “some foolish mistakes” he deserves a second chance pic.twitter.com/7x1oaoGdRM
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) May 16, 2022
The 26-year-old representative’s troubles appeared to begin after he alleged that fellow members of congress did cocaine in front of him and invited him to orgies.
Soon after, unflattering photos and videos of Cawthorn began being leaked online.
In one of the photos, Cawthorn appeared to be wearing women’s lingerie during a game played on a cruise ship. In a graphic video that some have called “revenge porn,” Cawthorn is seen appearing to tea-bag one of his friends — for lack of a better term.
While the images sparked quite a bit of homophobic remarks, with many who oppose him alleging the the freshman congressman may be gay, others defended him as engaging in typical pranks and behavior seen from young men in frat houses across the nation.
In his own defense, Cawthorn asserted that him and his friends were just joking around and that his opponents are attempting to “blackmail” him.
“A new hit against me just dropped,” Cawthorn said in a statement after the video was released. “Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it. I’m NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”
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Cawthorn’s troubles did not stop there, however. He has also recently been cited for bringing a gun with him to an airport and has been caught driving with a suspended license.
“I love and defend the Second Amendment as a man in a wheelchair who faces death threats,” Cawthorn said in a statement about the gun incident. “… I carry a weapon almost all the time. Obviously, though, I made a mistake. I forgot to disarm before I went through a TSA checkpoint. That’s my bad, and I have to own that one.”
In a post to his own social media platform, Truth Social, Trump recalled the car accident that left Cawthorn paralyzed as a teenager and said that “he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again.”
“At 18 years of age, Madison Cawthorn, the now 26 year old Congressman from the Great State of North Carolina, went through a life changing event the likes of which, fortunately, few people will ever have to endure,” Trump said. “In just seconds, he lost the use of the lower half of his body, a traumatic experience to say the least. When Madison was first elected to Congress, he did a great job. Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again…let’s give Madison a second chance!”
Cawthorn has been outspoken against intervention and in favor of an America First agenda.
In February, Cawthorn gave an impassioned speech on the House floor in opposition to the Biden administration deploying troops to Eastern Europe amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“Madam Speaker, the sons and daughters of America are not foot soldiers for your party’s inept, geriatric despot. They are not expendable pawns to be dispatched at the whims of an idiot, tossed carelessly around the world to Godforsaken caves and bloody sandboxes. They are Americans, worthy of honor and dignity. The only salute from them Joe Biden deserves involves one finger,” Cawthorn said.
Cawthorn calls Biden a “geriatric despot” and says he deserves a “one finger salute” pic.twitter.com/pmjvCHw70X
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 2, 2022
“Our greatness is forged in our resistance to interference. The war lobby has no ally in the America-first Republicans. We will preserve our strength through nationalism,” he continued.
Cawthorn recently drew fierce condemnation from Democrats, and some members of his own party, after he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, another North Carolina Republican, has endorsed Cawthorn’s challenger.
“There’s no one thing that put me in a position to where the first time in my career I’m opposing a sitting Republican,” Tillis told CNN. “I’ve never done it. But it’s the totality. It’s a lack of seriousness.”