BuzzFeed News on Friday published an exposé on Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), focusing on the 25-year-old’s time attending Patrick Henry College in Virginia.
“Madison Cawthorn arrived at Patrick Henry College’s small Christian campus in northern Virginia in fall 2016 blazing with charm, bravado, and a flashing white smile,” BuzzFeed reported. “And, former Patrick Henry students said, it didn’t take long for women on campus to start warning one another: You don’t want to be alone with him, especially in his car.”
The outlet spoke with more than three dozen people, including more than two dozen former students, their friends, and their relatives, who “described or corroborated instances of sexual harassment and misconduct on campus, in Cawthorn’s car, and at his house near campus.”
BuzzFeed News reports that four women told the publication that Cawthorn, now a rising Republican star, “was aggressive, misogynistic, or predatory toward them. Their allegations include calling them derogatory names in public in front of their peers, including calling one woman ‘slutty,’ asking them inappropriate questions about their sex lives, grabbing their thighs, forcing them to sit in his lap, and kissing and touching them without their consent. One of these women now works as an intern for another Republican member of Congress and passes Cawthorn in the corridors of the Capitol.”
“According to more than a dozen people — including three women who had firsthand experience and seven people who heard about these incidents from them at the time — Cawthorn often used his car as a way to entrap and harass his women classmates, taking them on what he could call “fun drives” off campus. Two said he would drive recklessly and ask them about their virginity and sexual experiences while they were locked in the moving vehicle,” BuzzFeed reported.
Caitlin Coulter says she went for a drive with him her senior year.
“I realized he was taking me out to the middle of nowhere, Virginia,” said Coulter. “We were on these small, like, one- [or] two-lane back roads, and I just felt so uncomfortable and nervous and not even something I think at the time I could put a finger on, but just, like, danger warning.”
Madison Cawthorn was on Fox News talking about how the Republican Party has to find "a great moral foundation to stand upon" minutes after BuzzFeed published a story about him allegedly harassing women in college https://t.co/XFNbWJWLWF pic.twitter.com/ONCbWiqBvY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 27, 2021
Cawthorn came under fire last year when photos on his Instagram page from 2017 resurfaced, showing him visiting a German country home used by Adolf Hitler and Nazi officials known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” which Cawthorn described as an item “on my bucket list for awhile.”
“The vacation house of the Führer. Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint. Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots,” Cawthorn wrote in the caption.
Cawthorn’s Democratic opponent, retired Air Force colonel Moe Davis, tweeted in response to the controversy: “Hitler’s vacation retreat is not on my bucket list.”