Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) sparked has thrown the Republican party into turmoil after he said during an interview that fellow conservatives in Washington invited him to participate in orgies and used cocaine in front of him.
Cawthorn’s cocaine and orgy allegations sparked a furor during a closed-door party meeting Tuesday, CNN reported, citing sources who were in the room.
According to the sources, several enraged Republicans stood up and complained that they are being bombarded with phone calls from concerned constituents and worried spouses about whether members of Congress were indeed participating in orgies and hard-core drug use.
Others said that if his allegations are true, then Cawthorn “needs to name names” because otherwise it “unfairly stains” the entire Republican party.
In response to the controversy, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy hauled Cawthorn into his office Wednesday morning and pressed him on the unsettling allegations, pressed him to issue a public apology for his most recent remarks, and warned Cawthorn that if he didn’t change his behavior, there could be consequences. They ended the meeting by telling Cawthorn the ball is now in his court,” CNN reports.
House Republicans are not the only ones scrambling to defuse the firestorm.
Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina is throwing his weight behind a primary opponent to Cawthorn.
“It comes down to focus on the district, producing results for the district, and in my opinion, Mr. Cawthorn hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of results over the last 18 months,” Tillis told CNN, describing why he is backing state Sen. Chuck Edwards in his primary against Cawthorn.
Other GOP lawmakers are also considering endorsing Cawthorn’s primary opponent amid growing concerns that the North Carolina Republican is dragging down the entire party with his problematic behavior. According to CNN, North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore —The two most powerful North Carolina Republicans in the state legislature— are headlining a fundraiser for Edwards on Thursday.