North Carolina U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, once seen as a rising star in the MAGA movement, is no stranger to scandal -- and now it seems he may be on the verge of losing the support of former President Donald Trump himself.
Following a series of disclosures around Cawthorn's conduct -- some involving sexual imagery and wearing lingerie, with some observers speculating they were released to raise questions about his sexuality and stoke homophobia -- Trump is disappointed and found it "gross," according to reporting by Rolling Stone.
While the former president hasn't pulled his endorsement, "he wants to sit back and see what happens," a source told the magazine. "But he's been disappointed with Madison and thinks he has problems handling his [public relations]," they added, particularly about the photos and videos that have been released.
Another source told Rolling Stone that Trump was shocked and disgusted by the footage, going so far as to ask if Cawthorn was "fucking his cousin," who appears in one of the videos where Cawthorn talks about sex.
"President Trump is completely weirded out by the allegations," a third source told the publication.
While this latest round of controversy involving Cawthorne might not be sitting well with Trump, it's far from the first time the representative has faced backlash for his actions. Not long after he was elected in 2020, social media posts surfaced of Cawthorn's visit to Adolf Hitler's vacation home (or as he captioned it, "the vacation house of the Fuhrer") which he gleefully referred to as a "bucket list" experience that "did not disappoint."
Women who attended Patrick Henry College, Cawthorn's alma mater, came forward to allege that he was notorious for taking women on "fun drives" where, according to Buzzfeed News, he would be "misogynistic, or predatory toward them," as well as driving recklessly and asking them about their sexual experiences. Word spread around the campus to avoid being alone with Cawthorn and to never get in a car with him.
Cawthorn has also suggested that voters "lightly threaten" representatives who didn't participate in attempting to overthrow the 2020 election results, and was stopped twice at a North Carolina airport for attempting to bring a loaded firearm through security.
There's been a shift in Cawthorn's popularity with fellow conservatives as homophobia enters the picture. Cawthorn has said that he doesn't think "the government should be involved in marriage." He stated that it "should be between the marriage and God, that's all that matters," when Asheville, N.C.'s Citizen Times asked him about LGBTQ+ rights during his election campaign.
While in Congress, Cawthorn has voted against the Equality Act which would, among other things, ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in employment and housing, while falsely claiming that he did so because the bill contained funding for abortion (it didn't) and restricts parents' rights concerning health care for their trans children (it didn't).
Trump's endorsement of Cawthorn is still in place for the time being. The question of whether or not these scandals stick will be answered in the Republican primaries being held next week.