Donald Trump on Monday reaffirmed his support for North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn ahead of the scandal-ridden legislator’s primary race.
Voters in North Carolina head to the polls on Tuesday in the crowded eight-vote Republican election.
Whoever wins the state’s dark red GOP 11th congressional district primary is the uncontrollable favorite to claim the House seat in November.
The ex-president took to his new Truth Social platform shortly after midnight Monday to say Cawthorn should be given a ‘second chance’ for making ‘stupid mistakes’ which include leaking a nude tape and claiming that ‘He had been invited to cocaine fueled orgies by senior members of Congress.
“At 18, Madison Cawthorn, the 26-year-old congresswoman from the great state of North Carolina, went through a life-altering event that fortunately few will have to endure,” Trump wrote. on Truth. Social.
The former president was referring to a fiery car crash in 2014 that left Cawthorn paralyzed from the waist down and in need of a wheelchair.
His message continued: “In just seconds he lost the use of the lower half of his body, a traumatic experience to say the least.”
“When Madison was first elected to Congress, he did a great job. Recently, he made some stupid mistakes, which I don’t think he’ll ever make again…let’s give Madison a second chance!
Trump previously endorsed Cawthorn in March 2021, appearing side-by-side in a maskless video at Mar-a-Lago at a time when COVID-19 cases in Florida were surging.
“He has my approval, he has my complete and total approval, as I like to say. And he’s a very special guy and let’s support him all the way, whatever he wants to do,’ the ex-president said in the clip.
But that was before a series of scandals pitted Cawthorn squarely against senior party officials.
Cawthorn sparked a firestorm of criticism from Republicans in North Carolina and Washington in late March when he made comments on a podcast describing the “sexual perversion” of members of Congress.
He claimed to have been invited to an orgy and claimed to have seen at least one lawmaker take cocaine.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Cawthorn “lost” his “confidence” after meeting the young congressman last week, saying his behavior “didn’t befit” his national office.
Since then, he’s been accused of being involved in a cryptocurrency pump and dump scheme, had multiple run-ins with highway patrol, been arrested at an airport with a handgun in his carry-on and dealt with several damning videos showing him behaving inappropriately – among a long list of other incidents.
A clip first published by DailyMail.com shows Cawthorn and his cousin – and staff member – in the car speaking in mock accents, before his cousin put his hand on the now lawmaker’s crotch.
Another appears to feature the naked Republican congressman simulating a sexual act on an unknown man’s face while groaning and screaming.
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis led the opposition against Cawthorn’s re-election bid. In addition to calling for an insider investigation of the young lawmaker, a PAC linked to Tillis recently poured $300,000 into attack ads claiming “Cawthorn will lie about anything.”
The main opponents of the Republican congressman also seized on the numerous incidents of Cawthorn.
His main challenger, Tillis-backed state legislator Chuck Edwards, released a political ad insinuating the incumbent is more interested in being a “celebrity” than working for his district.
Here in the mountains, we are not looking for the star. We put our heads down and get to work,” Edwards explains in the short clip. “If you want fame, go see the Kardashians.”
Cawthorn’s fight for political survival is a test of Trump’s power of approval, after his support swept GOP Senate nominee JD Vance to victory in Ohio.
The ex-president is getting closer to the 26-year-old once again after it was reported last week that he found Cawthorn’s numerous scandals “disgusting”.
The long list of incidents made Trump “completely bizarre”, two people who heard him speak told Rolling Stone.
But despite that, Cawthorn has managed to keep the GOP kingmaker at his side — even as voters look increasingly disillusioned.
His lead in the polls fell from 49% support in March to just 38% in April, according to the Republican group GOPAC.
Edwards still trails Cawthorn by double digits, although his support share has fallen from 14% to 21% over the same period.