Most Read


Cawthorn Calls Out Colleagues In Veiled Response To Video Of Male Staffer Touching His Crotch

Cawthorn Calls Out Colleagues In Veiled Response To Video Of Male Staffer Touching His Crotch

Scandal-plagued far-right North Carolina Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn has once again found himself at the center of an uproar.

This time, Cawthorn is being accused of an inappropriate relationship with a male staffer after a video showing the staffer touching Cawthorn's crotch and a list of lewdly worded Venmo payments between the two have circulated.

The flap has left even Cawthorn's Republican colleagues lambasting him.

Cawthorn hit back with a tweet leveling thinly veiled accusations of hypocrisy at his fellow party members.

Cawthorn wrote:

"Many of my colleagues would be nowhere near politics if they had grown up with a cell phone in their hands."

The video from which the latest flap stems shows Cawthorn and his close friend and staffer Stephen L. Smith seeming to flirt with each other.

In the video, Cawthorn is heard saying:

"I feel the passion and desire, and would like to see a naked body beneath my hands."

After replying "Me too," Smith places his hand on Cawthorn's crotch as Cawthorn cackles.

Along with the video, screenshots have circulated of the Venmo history between the two men, showing several unreturned payments to Smith with descriptions hinting at a sexual relationship.

The transactions include descriptions like, "The quickie at the airport" and "Getting naked for me in Sweden."

Cawthorn and Smith have been close for years and have lived together for quite a while. Smith even accompanied Cawthorn on his honeymoon after his quickie marriage following sexual harassment allegations against him.

Cawthorn divorced eight months later.

Cawthorn is the subject of an ethics complaint by Super PAC Fire Madison Cawthorn, which has submitted multiple allegations of impropriety, including his relationship with Smith and evidence of insider trading, to the House's Office of Congressional Ethics.

But most notable are the attacks against Cawthorn from his own party.

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina has lambasted him for everything from the ethics complaints to a previous scandal over photos of Cawthorn in women's lingerie and his failure to deliver on legislation for North Carolinians.

And for what he says is only the second time in his long-running career, Tillis has endorsed the primary candidate trying to oust Cawthorn in this fall's midterms, Republican state Senator Chuck Edwards.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has publicly turned on Cawthorn as well following a scandal weeks ago in which Cawthorn accused his Republican colleagues of inviting him to cocaine-fueled orgies.

Fire Madison Cawthorn has been careful to point out that the bulk of its ethics complaints pre-date the surfacing of the video between Cawthorn and Smith, and focuses on multiple allegations of wrongdoing.

The group has also pointed out that its accusations about the Smith relationship focus on the financial relationship between the two, which violates House ethics rules.

But many have pointed out the flap over Cawthorn's relationship with Smith reeks of homophobia.

Given McCarthy's involvement in excoriating Cawthorn, many suspect the GOP's strategy is to insinuate Cawthorn is secretly gay in a bid to leverage the party base's homophobia and inspire them to oust him.

On Twitter, many people were disgusted by the homophobic undertones of this latest flap, including from many liberals who mocked Cawthorn for supposedly being gay in the wake of the scandal.

The scandals and GOP attacks against Cawthorn appear to be working. Though he still enjoys a double-digit lead over his opponent Edwards, his support among Republicans in North Carolina has fallen precipitously in recent weeks.