Cawthorn Says Nude Video Is Part of 'Drip Drip' Campaign

'I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny,' embattled lawmaker says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2022 5:03 AM CDT
Cawthorn Says Nude Video Is Part of 'Drip Drip' Campaign
Rep Madison Cawthorn speaks to the crowd before Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally, April 9, 2022, in Selma, NC.   (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

(Newser) – Less than two weeks before the GOP primary for his seat in North Carolina, Rep. Madison Cawthorn is defending himself against what he calls a "blackmail" campaign that included the release of a nude video Wednesday night. The video, which the BBC describes as showing Cawthorn "naked in bed and making thrusting motions on top of an unidentified person," was released by anti-Cawthorn PAC American Muckrackers. In a tweet, Cawthorn said the video was taken years ago. "I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking," he said. "That’s it. I’m NOT backing down."

"I told you there would be a drip drip campaign," Cawthorn added. "Blackmail won't win. We will." American Muckrackers said the video was provided by "a former Cawthorn supporter and big donor who asked to remain anonymous," CNBC reports. In a video Cawthorn tweeted before the release of the nude video, he addressed numerous other controversies, including insider trading allegations, lingerie photos, and an earlier suggestive video that he said was "just stupid locker room talk between two cousins that grew up like brothers." He acknowledged, however, that bringing a loaded gun to a TSA checkpoint was a mistake, the Hill reports. "That’s my bad, and I have to own that one," he said.

One of his primary opponents, GOP activist Michelle Woodhouse, said recent videos had been the "final straw" for many people. "Congressman Cawthorn takes no responsibility for his actions," she said. "And that’s a character issue, and that’s a maturity issue." Cawthorn, 26, is the youngest member of Congress. North Carolina US Sen. Thom Tillis has endorsed another Cawthorn challenger, state Sen. Chuck Edwards. Polls suggest Cawthorn will struggle to avoid a runoff election in the May 17 vote, though some Republican strategists say the attacks could backfire by "galvanizing support" for the anti-GOP establishment Cawthorn, Reuters reports. (Read more Madison Cawthorn stories.)

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