Leaked Video Shows Madison Cawthorn Calling Ukraine’s Zelenskyy a “Thug”

A newly leaked video shows far right Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and deriding the Ukrainian government as “evil” and “woke.”

A short video obtained by WRAL, Cawthorn says, “Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies, and really there’s a new woke ruling.” The video was likely taken at a town hall in AshevilleOver the weekend, a group of people gathered in, North Carolina.

It’s unclear what Cawthorn is referring to when he says that the Ukrainian government is pushing “woke ideologies,” but the actual meaning is likely inconsequential, as the right often liesto propagandize and twist the truth.

However, Cawthorn’s rhetoric seems to tie the invasion to the American political right’s battle against “woke” agendas, a concerning statement as conservatives Openly embrace fascism while scapegoating “woke” progressives and Democrats – or essentially, anyone who opposes them – for All problemsThe country is facing many challenges, but the right claims are being made.

Cawthorn seemed to increase his Twitter comments about an hour after the video was released. He denounced Vladimir Putin, but said that Ukrainian “[p]ropaganda is being used to entice America into another war,” and that “leaders, including Zelensky, should NOT push misinformation on America.”

Cawthorn linked an article about “Ukrainian misinformation” that is supposedly goading the U.S. into entering into war with Russia. The linked article relied onMultiple stories have been told about the Russian invasion, but they have since been discredited.

Pedro L. Gonzalez is listed as the editor of this article. at the Charlemagne InstituteLinkedIn Charlemagne Institute’s mission is to has ties to the Koch family network, is to “defend and advance Western civilization,” a white supremacist dogwhistle. Its logo bears the following: resemblanceTo that of far right nationalists.

As a response to the video Sen. Chuck Edwards, Republican State Senator wrote on Twitter that the real “thug is Vladimir Putin” and that anything other than support for Zelenskyy and Ukraine is “counter to everything we stand for in America.” Former George W. Bush deputy chief of staff Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal, where Cawthorn’s speech was first reported, that Cawthorn’s words “[don’t] reflect Republican opinion.”

It’s unclear why Cawthorn made these claims. It’s true that ZelenskyyA request for aid from the U.S. has been made to the U.S. specifically asking that they impose a no flight zone over Ukraine. This would be a war crime. likely devastating consequences. There’s no evidence that Zelenskyy is pushing disinformation in his pleas as Cawthorn claims, however.

It has been popular with Republicans in recent weeks. to denounce warRussia: This is a strange stance for the party. typically jumps at the chanceto declare war on Russia or raise militarism. It’s possible that Republicans are hedging their bets that President Joe Biden will enter war with Russia, in which case they can claim that they were right all along, similarly to how they flippedBiden was the one who exited Afghanistan, rather than Donald Trump.

Cawthorn is featured in recent social media posts appears to be sayingHe believes that Biden is somehow to blame for the injuries in Ukraine. Meanwhile, QAnon supporters, which Cawthorn denounced but spouted conspiracy theories fromI have started to repeat the process. Russian conspiracy theoriesThe U.S. is developing bioweapons to combat the Ukrainian government.