Rep, Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., responded to the publication of a nude video of him, claiming that it is part of a “blackmail” campaign meant to hurt his chances of winning re-election this year.
Early voting has already begun in Cawthorn’s GOP primary race, where he is facing off against challengers, including North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards.
“A new hit against me just dropped. Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking. That’s it,” Cawthorn said. “I’m NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won’t win. We will.”
The video was uploaded by the American Muckrakers PAC, which runs a website called FireMadison.com. The website describes the video as including a nude Cawthorn thrusting his groin at another person’s head.
EYEBROW-RAISING MADISON CAWTHORN VIDEO AT CENTER OF NEW ETHICS COMPLAINT
In a video message posted Wednesday, Cawthorn addressed a string of recent negative stories that have run against him. In it, he referenced a video that he said “was just stupid locker room talk between two cousins who grew up like brothers, taken long before I served in Congress.”
Last week, another video came out showing the congressman joking about sex with his male aide in a car.
Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who supports Cawthorn’s primary opponent, was asked for his reaction to the latest video on Thursday.
“Um, absurd to embarrassing,” Tillis said. When asked about the prospect of Cawthorn winning his primary contest, Tillis said he was “disappointed for his constituents, and that’s why I’m working to avoid that outcome.”
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.