Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) allegedly admitted to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) during a meeting on Wednesday that his claims that senior lawmakers have used cocaine in front of him and that they have invited him to their homes for orgies are not true.
“Then all of a sudden you get invited. ‘We’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’ ‘What did you just ask me to come to?’ And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy,” Cawthorn claimed without any evidence during a podcast last week. “You watch them do a bump of cocaine right in front of you. And it’s like, this is wild.”
Cawthorn’s unsubstantiated claims set off a firestorm among House Republicans this week, which resulted in McCarthy having a meeting with Cawthorn.
Axios reported on the meeting:
McCarthy said Cawthorn conceded some of his remarks were untrue and “exaggerated.”
“I just told him he’s lost my trust, he’s gonna have to earn it back, and I laid out everything I find is unbecoming. And, you can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s got a lot of members very upset,” McCarthy said. “In the interview, he claims he watched people do cocaine. Then when he comes in, he tells me, he says he thinks he saw maybe a staffer in a parking garage from 100 yards away.”
“It’s just frustrating. There’s no evidence behind his statements,” McCarthy continued. “And when I sit down with him … I told him you can’t make statements like that, as a member of Congress, that affects everybody else and the country as a whole.”
Some Republican members said they intended to call out Cawthorn’s claims by pushing him to name the lawmakers.
“I think it is important, if you’re going to say something like that, to name some names,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said.
“Madison’s stuff irritates me because it’s not true,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said. “He’ll have to either name names or retract it.”