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GOP Rep. Cawthorn calls leaked nude video 'blackmail,' says he was simply 'being crass with a buddy'

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina speaks on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 26, 2021. 

Octavio Jones | Reuters

Embattled Rep. Madison Cawthorn vowed that “blackmail won’t win” after an opposition group launched a video showing to indicate the North Carolina Republican bare in a mattress and making thrusting motions on high of one other particular person.

“Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny,” Cawthorn, 26, stated on Twitter on Wednesday evening, shortly after the video started circulating on social media.

“We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it,” Cawthorn stated.

The video, particulars of which haven’t been independently verified by CNBC, was launched lower than two weeks earlier than the Republican major election in Cawthorn’s district. The youngest member of Congress, Cawthorn has racked up a listing of scandals and controversies in his freshman time period which have prompted scolding and outright opposition from a few of his fellow Republicans.

“I’m NOT backing down,” Cawthorn’s tweet stated. “I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”

The video was launched by American Muckrakers, a political motion committee that operates underneath the banner Fire Madison Cawthorn and is bent on damaging his candidacy.

The group stated the video was offered by “a former Cawthorn supporter and big donor who asked to remain anonymous.”

“It pains us to post it but in the public and voters interest we chose to do so,” the group stated, simply above an all-caps hyperlink urging viewers to “WATCH THE VIDEO OF REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN MADISON CAWTHORN DRY HUMPING SOMEONE’S HEAD AND MOANING LOUDLY HERE.”

Republicans are hoping to regain House and presumably the Senate within the upcoming midterm elections, and incumbents have a tendency to carry main benefits over their electoral challengers. But Cawthorn’s distractions have spurred criticism from inside his personal social gathering — particularly after he claimed in a March podcast interview to have data of lawmakers doing medicine and welcoming him to orgies.

“He’s got a lot of members upset,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stated on the time. “You can’t just make statements out there.”

Last week, Cawthorn was cited on a misdemeanor legal cost after he introduced a loaded handgun to a North Carolina airport. It marked the second time Cawthorn was caught bringing a gun to an airport.

Cawthorn stated he “made a mistake” by leaving the weapon in his carry-on bag, however the newest incident prompted House Democrats to name on the Transportation Security Administration to crack down on comparable offenses.

That identical week, Sen. Thom Tillis, a fellow member of North Carolina’s Republican delegation, referred to as for an investigation after ethics watchdogs raised suspicions of attainable insider buying and selling associated to Cawthorn’s involvement with a cryptocurrency.

Tillis has endorsed Cawthorn’s major challenger, and a Tillis-tied tremendous PAC reportedly spent greater than $300,000 on adverts that attacked Cawthorn.

He had additionally come underneath fireplace after the Asheville Citizen Times reported in March that Cawthorn was charged with driving with a revoked license for the second time.

Cawthorn additionally lashed out Politico final month after the outlet printed photographs of him posing in lingerie at a celebration. Cawthorn stated the photographs have been taken on throughout a recreation on a cruise previous to his election to Congress.

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