Far-right North Carolina Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn has been plagued by scandal since before he even took office, but recent weeks have been a nonstop barrage of bad press for the freshman Representative.
The new scandals almost daily came after Cawthorn claimed he'd been invited to cocaine-fueled orgies by his fellow Republicans—leading to widespread condemnation from the GOP and a summons to meet privately with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
And it's only getting worse.
Amid the furor over a video in which the virulently anti-LGBTQ+ Congressman's cousin and aide Stephen L Smith touched his crotch, Cawthorn has responded with a move right out of former Republican President Donald Trump's playbook.
In a video statement, Cawthorn dismissed the moment as mere "locker room talk"—just hours before yet another video showing a far more salacious incident between he and a man believed to be Miller surfaced yesterday evening.
See Cawthorn's statement about the first video below.
In the statement, Cawthorn dismissed the crotch-grabbing incident out of hand and characterized it as "media lies."
"This video was just stupid locker room talk between cousins that grew up like brothers, taken long before I served in Congress."
The verbiage is of course a direct reference to Trump's defense of his words in the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged about groping women without their consent, saying "when you're a star, they let you... grab them by the pussy."
Trump repeatedly dismissed the incident as "locker room talk" throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, a defense that quickly seemed implausible after multiple allegations of sexual assault were subsequently leveled against him.
Cawthorn is one of the most stridently anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress who has made attacks against the community, and trans people in particular, a cornerstone of his image. Cawthorn has also issued numerous declarations about masculinity and being a "real man."
The crotch-grabbing video, along with leaked photos of Cawthorn in women's lingerie at a cruise ship party, have led to widespread condemnation of Cawthorn as a hypocrite who feels free to engage in queer-adjacent behavior, even if only in jest, while attacking and legislating against LGBTQ+ people in Congress.
And that ire has only intensified since the surfacing of yet another salacious video just hours after he posted his "locker room talk" response.
The new video, which some have called a "sex tape," shows Cawthorn nude in a hotel room bed thrusting his genitals in the face of an unidentified male believed to be Smith.
Though the video is blurry and Cawthorn is unidentifiable, the Congressman confirmed the video's veracity.
Cawthorn called it part of a "drip drip campaign" of "blackmail" in a Twitter statement which hued closely to his previous "locker room talk" response.
Cawthorn's "locker room talk" defense did not strike people on Twitter as particularly convincing.
His response to the nude video didn't seem to have the intended effect either.
And of course there were plenty of wisecracks at Cawthorn's expense.
Like the crotch-grabbing video and the lingerie before it, the new video was released by American Muckrakers PAC, a group campaigning against Cawthorn's reelection bid in this November's midterm elections.
The group says all three pieces of material were provided to them by former associates of Cawthorn and his 2020 campaign.
The leaks are widely believed to be a Republican-led homophobic smear campaign against Cawthorn in retaliation for the comments he made in March accusing GOP politicians of inviting him to cocaine-fueled orgies.