The Freedom Caucus Has Been Triggered by Cawthorn’s Coke and Orgies Comments

The Freedom Caucus is fine with alleged sex crimes, white nationalists, and coup attempts. But Cawthorn’s claims about cocaine and orgies were too much.
freedom-caucus-madison-cawthorn
Representative Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina, arrives to a State of the Union address by U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (Saul Loeb/ AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Freedom Caucus has a high tolerance for immoral behavior. Members being investigated for allegedly paying underage girls for sex? No problem. Hanging out with white nationalists? All good. Supporting the overthrow of a free and fair election? Basically a prerequisite for joining. 

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Accusing fellow politicians of doing blow and hosting orgies? Well, hold on just a second.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the 26-year-old House freshman from North Carolina, appeared on a podcast interview last week and said that since he came to D.C. in 2020, he’s seen anti-addiction policymakers do cocaine in front of him and been witness to the “sexual perversion that goes on in Washington.”

“I look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life, I've always paid attention to politics," Cawthorn said. “Then all of a sudden you get invited to, ‘Well, hey, we’re going to have kind of a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come. And then you realize they are asking you to come to an orgy.”

Multiple members of the Freedom Caucus—the group of more than 40 far-right House lawmakers—raised the prospect of kicking Cawthorn out of the group over his comments about alleged D.C. depravity, according to Politico. Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, the caucus chair, told Politico he plans to talk to Cawthorn about his claims.

“You should have to name names if you are going to go make those kinds of brushstroke accusations and impugn the character of people in this institution,” an anonymous Freedom Caucus member told Politico. 

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Perry echoed this sentiment, and reportedly wouldn’t rule out booting Cawthorn from the caucus. “We will discuss that when we get to it,” Perry told Politico, adding that he hadn’t yet talked to Cawthorn and didn’t “​​want to predispose the conversation.”

The claim reportedly caused an uproar among the Republican membership Tuesday, as Rep. Steve Womack raised Cawthorn’s comments during a caucus meeting, according to Politico. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would talk to Cawthorn.

Cawthorn’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. After news broke of his comments being raised during the House GOP meeting, Cawthorn tweeted: “Signal, not noise.” 

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