Rep. Madison Cawthorn accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of dangerously and deliberately mischaracterizing his words after she asked Republican leaders to condemn him for allegedly encouraging violence.
Mr. Cawthorn, North Carolina Republican, fired back Wednesday after Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, raised concerns about comments the first-year congressman made on camera during a recent GOP event.
“If our election systems continue to be rigged and continued to be stolen then it’s going to lead to one place and that’s bloodshed,” Mr. Cawthorn said during the event, as heard in video footage shared online.
“And I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs. There’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American,” Mr. Cawthorn said during the event Sunday. “And the way that we can have recourse against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states.”
During the event, Mr. Cawthorn also referred to defendants facing charges related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as “political prisoners.” Many face charges of felonious assault.
“Speaker Pelosi took advantage of a left-wing media hit job and lied about my words for her gross political agenda,” Mr. Cawthorn said in response. “She dangerously and deliberately chose to mischaracterize my comments as violent speech when I clearly called for violence not to occur.”
Additionally, Mr. Cawthorn urged Mrs. Pelosi to cosponsor a resolution he offered condemning “political violence in all forms.” It only includes Democratic examples and accuses the party of ignoring them.
Supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, disrupting the joint session of Congress held to certify the results of the Electoral College affirming President Biden’s victory.
Trump supporters including Mr. Cawthorn have alleged the 2020 election was “stolen” from the Republican incumbent absent evidence of any major voter fraud.
Mr. Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress at 26 years old, objected to certifying Mr. Biden’s victory later on Jan. 7, several hours after rioters breached the Capitol and were subsequently eventually removed.
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