Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” and the Ukrainian government “evil” in a video obtained and published by North Carolina affiliate WRAL amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

“Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug,” Cawthorn said in the recording. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former White House deputy chief of staff Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveBiden’s State of the Union address won’t help Democrats politically GOP eyes ambitious agenda if House flips The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden talks, Senate balks MORE says Cawthorn’s remarks were made at a town hall in Ashe­ville, N.C., and that they “don’t re­flect Re­pub­li­can opin­ion.” The article was published Wednesday, and Rove said the event happened “last Saturday.”


“…Re­pub­li­can mem­bers of Con­gress, can­di­dates and com­men­ta­tors echo­ing Mr. Trump’s iso­la­tionism and Krem­lin apolo­get­ics are out of sync with GOP vot­ers,” Rove wrote, referring to former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House congratulates South Korea’s new president, citing ‘ironclad’ alliance RNC sues over Jan. 6 panel’s subpoena of Salesforce Russia’s war on Ukraine upends nuclear talks with Iran MORE praising Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinReporter in Lviv says Ukrainians ‘want to be able to fight for themselves’ UK to urge West to ‘ramp up the global pressure on Putin’ Overnight Defense & National Security — US rules out combat aircraft for Ukraine MORE as a “genius” and “savvy” after the incursion.

When reached for comment by The Hill, a spokesperson for Cawthorn did not answer questions about when or where the comments took place, but sent a link to a tweet the congressman posted on Thursday saying, “This thread explains what his point was in those remarks.” 

Cawthorn’s tweet contains a link to an article called “World War Reddit ” with the caption “Propaganda is being used to entice America into another war. I do not want Americans dying because emotions pushed us into a conflict.”

The linked article focused on multiple stories that have been written about the war that have turned out to be false after further examination. 

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiHouse passes bill banning Russian oil imports, authorizing sanctions UK to urge West to ‘ramp up the global pressure on Putin’ Overnight Defense & National Security — US rules out combat aircraft for Ukraine MORE declined to comment Thursday when asked about Cawthorn’s remarks by a reporter during her daily press briefing.

On Wednesday, Cawthorn was one of only 17 representatives who voted against banning Russian oil as further punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which has been forcefully condemned by both Republicans and Democrats.

Russia’s government have been pushing false claims about the Ukrainian government and Zelensky, calling them neo-Nazis and drug dealers in an attempt to justify their aggression. The Kremlin is using these lies to portray themselves as the hero of a war they are fighting to liberate the people of Ukraine. 

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