washington — House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday rebuked North Carolina Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn for alleging he observed members of Congress using drugs and was invited to an “orgy.”
McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill he told Cawthorn during a private meeting that the first-term congressman had “lost my confidence” and that the allegations Cawthorn made during a podcast interview last week were “exaggerated.” , according to Axios.
“It’s just frustration. There is no evidence behind his statements,” McCarthy reportedly said, adding, “I told him that as a member of Congress, you cannot make such statements that affect everyone else and the country as a whole.”
The GOP leader said Cawthorn’s comments angered many lawmakers, and he warned Cawthorn he could face consequences for what McCarthy called “unacceptable” comments.
“In the interview he claims he saw people do cocaine. Then when he walked in, he told me — he says he thinks he might have seen an employee in a parking garage 100 yards away,” McCarthy told reporters.
Cawthorn made the claims about lawmakers’ behavior during an interview last week on the Warrior Poet Society podcast after he was asked if the Netflix series House of Cards was an accurate depiction of Washington or fictional.
“The sexual perversion that’s going on in Washington, I mean being a young guy in Washington where the median age is probably 60 or 70 and I look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to have through my life. I’ve always paid attention to politics,” he said. “Then suddenly you’re invited to, ‘Hey, we’re having some sort of sexual encounter at one of our houses, you should come.’ And I’m like, ‘What did you just ask me to come for?’ And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy.”
Cawthorn continued, “Or the fact that there are some of the people who are leading the movement to try and eradicate addiction in our country and then you watch them do an important batch of cocaine right in front of you . And it’s so wild.”
The first-term congressman’s allegations didn’t go down well with some of his fellow Republican lawmakers, some of whom expressed their frustrations during a behind-closed-doors meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday, Politico reported.
Cawthorn has been publicly condemned by McCarthy for his comments in recent weeks, most recently after calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and claiming that Ukraine’s government is “incredibly corrupt” and “incredibly evil”.
The House Minority Leader saidabout his characterization of Zelenskyy, although he said at the time that he still intends to support his re-election campaign.
McCarthy’s rebukes came after House Democrats berated him for not doing enough to address the behavior of other Republican members, namely Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona, both speaking at a white nationalist gathering last month . Gosar was also stripped of his committee duties andafter posting an edited anime video on his social media accounts depicting violence against President Biden and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The three are close allies of former President Donald Trump and have made claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.