US Congressman: 'Zelensky Is a Thug'

Republican Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina also calls the Ukraine government 'evil'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2022 2:42 PM CST
US Congressman: 'Zelensky Is a Thug'
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., arrives in the chamber of the House before the State of the Union address by President Biden on March 1.   (Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Not everybody in the West is a fan of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's handling of the Russian invasion. "Remember that Zelensky is a thug," GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina said at a town hall meeting last weekend, per a recording published by WRAL. "Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies." The comments were first brought to light in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Karl Rove in which he urged Republican lawmakers to unite behind Ukraine. He called comments such as Cawthorn's out of sync with the sentiments of most Republican voters.

A rep for the 26-year-old Cawthorn defended the congressman's statements. He "was expressing his displeasure at how foreign leaders, including Zelensky, had recently used false propaganda to entice America into becoming involved in an overseas conflict," said the spokesperson, per Insider. Cawthorn himself tweeted a link that he says backs him up. Cawthorn's own party leaders have a different view of things in regard to who's responsible for the war: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called Putin "evil," and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell labeled the Russian leader a "ruthless thug."

Cawthorn, meanwhile, was making headlines for another matter. The Washington Post reports he was charged for a second time with driving with a revoked license, a charge that carries a possible penalty of 20 days in jail. He also faces two separate speeding citations in which he was alleged to have been going close to 90mph each time. Cawthorn drives a specially equipped vehicle—he has required the use of a wheelchair since being seriously injured in a 2014 car accident in which a friend was driving. (Former college classmates accuse Cawthorn of sexual misconduct and say the incidents usually occurred in his car.)

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