Republican North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn refused to walk back comments he made in December, where he told President Donald Trump’s supporters to “lightly threaten” elected officials who do not back “election integrity.”
Cawthorn denounced Republicans who refused to object to the Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, calling them “soft” and “weak” during a Turning Point USA event December 21st.
“Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don’t start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody’s coming after you,” Cawthorne said, according to Charlotte Observer.
Later in the speech, the freshman congressman compared not opposing Biden’s electoral victory to “people that chose not to sign the declaration of independence.” (RELATED: FBI Says Armed Protests Planned In All 50 State Capitols Before Biden’s Inauguration)
“I think it will most likely hurt my career in a lot of ways because I’m going to push for election integrity and go attack a lot of these Republicans who are soft and weak and don’t actually fight,” he added. “I’m telling you nobody remembers the people that chose not to sign the Declaration of Independence. And I’m telling you I believe that right now we are in an environment that is extremely similar to 1776.”
Here’s a video of Congressman Madison Cawthorn telling a rally of young people to call their representatives to “lightly threaten” them and say they are “coming after them” pic.twitter.com/WOBeppCR6c
— Andrew Rose Gregory (@arosegregory) January 12, 2021
When asked for clarification, Cawthorne’s office told the Daily Caller, “The threat of a primary challenge is not a call for violence, and the media knows that.”
Less than ten minutes before the “lightly threaten” comment, Cawthorn did vow to primary Republicans “across the country” and said the following:
“I have a message for all of the Republicans across the country if you are not on the record calling for fair, free, and just elections now and in the future, I will come to your district, and I will fund a primary opponent against you.”
The GOP lawmaker’s comments have sparked criticism less than a week after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building, breaking through security barriers, battling police and entering the Rotunda and Senate Chambers, in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s November victory.
He should be lightly expelled from Congress and lightly charged with sedition.
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 12, 2021
Amid the violence at the Capitol, Cawthorn later called on rioters to protest peacefully, and “to back the blue now and let the objections continue in accordance with the constitution.”