Before Trump-backed rebels stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, delaying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory certification, Cawthorn spoke at a White House rally and sang “United States.” That morning, Cawthorn, who is 25 years the youngest member of Congress, tweeted, “Heart of a Lion, soul of a Patriot.”
Before he was elected in November, Republicans were concerned about Cawthorn’s youth and inexperience. He called Adolph Hitler “the Fuhrer” in a now-deleted Instagram post by him who visited Hitler’s cottage before his election. After the race was called to Cawthorn against Democrat Moe Davis, a former Air Force colonel, Cawthorn tweeted “Cry more, lib.”
In a speech before the uprising, Trump urged his supporters to “be strong” and said that “you will never take our country back with weakness.” On Tuesday, Trump did not back down from his remarks, calling his speech “perfectly appropriate.”
In December, he urged advocates to “easily threaten” lawmakers who do not support “electoral integrity,” according to the Charlotte Observer.
“Call your congressman and feel free, you can easily threaten them and say, you know what, if you do not start supporting electoral integrity, I will come after you, Madison Cawthorn will come after you, everyone will come after you,” Cawthorn said by a Turning Point USA event according to the Observer.
After the uprising last week, Cawthorn condemned the violence, calling it “theft.” In the ABC-11 interview, Cawthorn said he did not support the accusation of President Donald Trump, but called for insurgents to be held accountable.
The uprising and Cawthorn’s speech have already cost him at least one prominent local supporter – former Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin, according to the Observer. Erwin, also the former executive director of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, told the newspaper that Cawthorn “inflamed” the rebels.
After Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday for what it called a “risk of further incitement to violence,” Cawthorn took to Twitter, saying the social media giant’s move was a “morbid bastardization of the first amendment.”