Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a “thug” and denigrated the Ukrainian government.
“Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” Cawthorn was seen saying. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and it is incredibly evil and it has been pushing woke ideologies. It really is the new woke world empire.”
Other GOP lawmakers were quick to denounce Cawthorn’s statement, accusing him of favoring Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Like 90 percent of the country is with Ukrainians and is opposed to Putin,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who last week came under fire for calling for a Russian “Brutus” to assassinate Putin. “So when you see a member of Congress say things like this, the one thing I want you to know: they’re outliers.”
“To my colleague in the House, I would push back and say it’s not Ukraine that is invading Russia,” responded Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). “It is Russia invading Ukraine.”
Two North Carolina Republicans hoping to defeat Cawthorn in the GOP primary later this year also took the opportunity to condemn Cawthorn’s remarks.