Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) found out the hard way what sort of vile and divisive rhetoric the Republican Party absolutely will not tolerate: talking about crazy Washington parties.
The extremist congressman was spotted emerging from a half-hour meeting with top House Republican Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) on Wednesday after members of the party spent days fretting over comments Cawthorn made on a fringe-right YouTube channel.
“I just told him he’s lost my trust [and] he’s gonna have to earn it back. And I laid out to him everything that I find unbecoming,” McCarthy said to Axios’ Alayna Treene, adding, “He’s got a lot of members very upset.”
“You can’t make statements like that as a member of Congress. It affects everybody else, and the country as a whole,” the House minority leader told Politico reporter Olivia Beavers.
According to McCarthy, Cawthorn admitted in the meeting that his claims were “exaggerated” and that, at worst, he might have seen a staffer take cocaine in a parking garage from a distance.
House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) previously told Politico he also plans to speak with Cawthorn on the matter, adding that he might ask the lawmaker to name names.
The suggestion that conservative D.C. elites might attend sex parties and use illicit drugs has inspired more sweaty hand-wringing from the GOP than when some Republicans attended a white nationalist conference just last month.
It took three days for Republican Party leadership to criticize Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona for participating in the America First Political Action Conference ― an event so controversial that its organizers could not announce its location beforehand. Gosar appeared at the same conference last year.
Another GOP senator, Mike Braun of Indiana, recently said the question of whether people of different races should be able to marry is best decided on a state-by-state basis.
But Cawthorn’s offense appears to have disturbed Republican leadership on a different level.
Last week, Cawthorn responded to a question from the host of “Warrior Poet Society” about how his experience in the nation’s capital compared to the degeneracy seen on “House of Cards” by launching into a discussion on “the sexual perversion that goes on in Washington.”
He claimed that certain unnamed officials had invited him to sex parties and taken cocaine “key bumps” in his presence.
“I look at a lot of these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life ― I’ve always paid attention to politics,” Cawthorn said in the episode. “Then all of a sudden, you get invited to, ‘Oh, hey, we’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’”
“Then you realized they’re asking you to come to an orgy,” he said.