WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Despite reiterating his support for Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC)'s reelection bid, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy still said Cawthorn was off-base for calling Ukrainian President Zelenskyy a thug.
"Madison is wrong," Rep. McCarthy (R-Calif.) said during his weekly press conference on Friday. "If there's any thug in this world, it's Putin."
McCarthy went on to describe the horrors coming out of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including Russia's bombing of a maternity ward.
"This is atrocious; this is wrong; this is the aggressor," McCarthy said of Putin's actions in Ukraine. "This is the one that needs to end this war. This is the one that everybody should unite against."
McCarthy was referencing the video that surfaced showing Cawthorn telling his supporters that Zelenskyy was a thug.
"Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug," Cawthorn said in a video obtained by WRAL. "Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies."
An hour after those comments surfaced, Cawthorn appeared to walk back his remarks, saying on Twitter that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions are "disgusting."
When asked if McCarthy still supports Cawthorn's reelection, McCarthy responded simply: "Yes."
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