North Carolina Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn, who is openly transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+, is under fire after photos of him in women's lingerie emerged.
Cawthorn has staked his political career on his image as an arch-conservative, pro-family, Evangelical Christian Republican who exhibits all of the supposedly hyper-masculine bona fides adulated by the far-right.
Pictures of him in women's lingerie, of course, run counter to all of that and have led many to accuse Cawthorn of hypocrisy.
The photos, which Cawthorn says were taken during a nightclub game aboard a cruise ship, were obtained by Politico from a former associates of Cawthorn's.
See them below.
Politico reported the photos were received from a person formerly close to Cawthorn and his campaign and confirmed by a second person with similar ties, but the outlet was unable to verify them itself.
Cawthorn, however, seemed to do that work for Politico.
In a tweet he posted in response, Cawthorn confirmed the photos and gave details about their origins.
His tweet read:
"I guess the left thinks goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise (taken waaay before I ran for Congress) is going to somehow hurt me?"
Cawthorn also included a link to a description of the event at which he says the photos were taken, an adult-themed scavenger hunt offered aboard Royal Caribbean cruises called Quest.
In the grand scheme of things the photos may be essentially meaningless to most on the left except as an example of hypocrisy.
What the photos show—drunken revelry with a side of sexy decadence—definitely doesn't adhere to Cawthorn's vehement insistence on his own hyper-masculinity and his obsession with suppressing LGBTQ+ rights, nor does it comport with the pious morality Cawthorn espouses.
Cawthorn attacks trangender and LGBTQ+ people every chance he gets, most recently in a since-deleted tweet from last week in which he insisted there are "only... two genders" and one's gender cannot be changed. He has repeatedly blocked pro-LGBTQ+ legislation and publicly supported anti-trans bills across the country.
He has also frequently decried America as a nation of "soft men" who need to "to reclaim and restore masculinity" and has spoken openly about his "personal relationship with Jesus Christ," telling a podcast he was "raised on Proverbs and pushups" in 2020.
On Twitter, people were tired of the many double standards the photos seemed to underline.
Fittingly, the description of the Quest event Cawthorn tweeted includes a joke about photos from the event being used for "blackmail"—someething Cawthorn should have thought about before attending, it seems.