Politics

Rep. Cawthorn calls Zelensky ‘a thug,’ says Ukraine pushing ‘woke ideologies’

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and said the Ukrainian government is “incredibly evil,” in remarks that are at odds with the broad bipartisan support for Ukraine among American lawmakers and the public amid Russia’s invasion.

“Remember, that Zelensky is a thug,” the freshman Republican Congressman said in the short clip shared by WRAL. Cawthorn appeared to be discussing the US sending military aid to Ukraine.

“Remember the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and incredibly evil and it has been pushing woke ideologies,” he said.

An hour after WRAL published the video, Cawthorn tweeted that Putin’s actions were “disgusting” and that he was praying for Ukrainians but that “leaders, including Zelensky, should NOT push misinformation on America.” It’s not clear where and when the video takes place.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham distanced himself from Cawthorn’s remarks during a Senate GOP press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“Like 90 percent of the country is with the Ukrainians,” Graham said. “So, when you see a member of Congress say things like this, the one thing I want you to know, they are outliers in the largest sense possible on our side.”

One of those challengers, state lawmaker Chuck Edwards, was also quick to condemn Cawthorn’s remarks. “Let’s be clear. The thug is Vladimir Putin. We must unite as a nation to pray for President Zelensky and the brave people of Ukraine who are fighting for their lives and their freedom. Anything less is counter to everything we stand for in America,” Edwards wrote on Twitter.

Miami attorney Aaron Parnas also slammed the congressman. “President Zelensky is a hero. Madison Cawthorn is a zero,” Parnas tweeted.

The national Democratic Party said “we shouldn’t be surprised this type of anti-Ukraine sentiment has found a place in the Republican Party.”

“It’s only natural that a Republican Party led by Donald Trump, who regularly praises Vladimir Putin as a ‘genius’ and ‘savvy’ as he launches an unprovoked and unjustified war on the Ukrainian people, would evolve to attack the democratically elected president of Ukraine who has shown true heroism in the face of Russian aggression,” DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement. 

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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