Madison Cawthorn Explains Salacious Stories of Sex, Lies and Videotape

Madison Cawthorn is acknowledging that a newly-released video showing him naked and performing acts with a man in bed is authentic, but part of a "coordinated effort" to discredit him and destroy his political future.

The freshman congressman from North Carolina addressed this and other embarrassing images in a nearly eight-minute video released Wednesday. He is recorded directly addressing what he calls "outlandish" accusations swirling around photos recently leaked of him posing in lingerie and being touched on the groin by an aide.

"I've really never seen the swamp launch such a coordinated attack against any individual politics except for [former President] Donald Trump," Cawthorn said in the video, against the backdrop of an American flag. He added that even though the "fake news" lies about him, he figured "that many of you still have questions."

In a tweet posted Wednesday evening, Cawthorn again acknowledged the video, saying he "was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny." Cawthorn said he and the friend were "acting foolish" while calling the video's release "a new hit against" him.

Politico published a report last month showing Cawthorn wearing women's underwear at a party. Following its publication, Cawthorn was mocked and called a hypocrite for his Christian conservative views.

"This article is pushing a ludicrous narrative that I'm some kind of drag queen on the side, aside from being a congressman, and really this is just poor journalism," said Cawthorn.

Cawthorn again shrugged off the photos, saying they were taken before he was in Congress as part of a "goofy game on a cruise ship with my friends" with his mother in the crowd.

He also said he wasn't surprised Politico ran the story, since it doesn't have the same "same journalistic standards" as right-leaning Newsmax or Fox News.

Elsewhere in the video, Cawthorn criticized local ABC affiliate WLOS for reporting on an ethics complaint brought by a political action committee opposing his reelection.

The Office of Congressional Ethics complaint was filed by Fire Madison Cawthorn, which is operated by the American Muckrakers PAC. It followed the emergence of a video appearing to show Cawthorn being groped by staff member Stephen Smith. The complaint, which Cawthorn has called a "smear," alleges he had an inappropriate financial relationship with Smith.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn at Rally
North Carolina Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn said in an eight-minute video that attacks on him are a coordinated attempt by the "fake news." Here, Cawthorn speaks before a rally for former U.S. President Donald Trump at The Farm at 95 on April 9 in Selma, North Carolina. Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Speaking in the video, Cawthorn, 26, said he made a "childish video" with Smith, whom he said is his cousin. The youngest person ever elected to Congress, Cawthorn pointed out he is one of the first politicians to have access to a cell phone growing up.

"Most my colleagues in Congress right now would not be serving in Washington if they grew up within a single mile of a cell phone," he said.

However, Cawthorn did accept responsibility for twice being caught at the airport with a loaded weapon, saying he is a man in a wheelchair who faces death threats.

He also took responsibility for speeding tickets.

"So lesson learned, I'll slow down on the road," he said. "but I won't be slowing down on working to fix Congress."

Newsweek reached out to American Muckrakers PAC for comment.