Madison Cawthorn says Ukraine's government is 'very vile' and 'well known for corruption'
Madison Cawthornhas doubled down on his criticism of Ukraineafter calling President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a "thug."
- On Friday, Cawthorn told members of the press that Ukraine's government is "well known for corruption."
North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn has doubled down on his stance on Ukraine, saying he thinks its government is "very vile" and "well known for corruption."
During an event on Friday at the Rutherford County GOP headquarters in North Carolina, the congressman told members of the press that propaganda emerging from the Ukraine-Russia conflict had made things "murky and hard to understand."
"But before we all jump to conclusions and say we're going to go defend democracy in Eastern Europe, we have to realize that ... the Ukrainian government is so well known for corruption," he said.
"I will just tell you honestly, both governments in both
Earlier this month, Cawthorn called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a "thug" while also describing Ukraine's government as "incredibly corrupt" and "incredibly evil." He also accused the Ukrainian government of "pushing woke ideologies."
While speaking to the press on Friday, Cawthorn also claimed that Ukraine is one of the "major sex trafficking hubs of the entire world."
According to a 2021 report by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Ukrainian government "does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so." Amid Russia's ongoing invasion, concerns over human trafficking have increased as Ukrainian women and children flee their home country.
While Cawthorn on Friday described Ukrainians as "wonderful people" and commended their resistance against Russia, he added: "But this is not a country that, you know, I feel like is the shining beacon of what really truly is the standard of good, and clean, and transparent government."
The congressman has taken flak from Republican senators for his earlier comments on Zelenskyy, with Sen. Lindsey Graham calling him an outlier in the GOP "in the largest sense possible."
Speaking to Insider, a Cawthorn spokesperson elaborated on the congressman's earlier comments, saying the lawmaker "supports Ukraine and the Ukrainian President's efforts to defend their country against Russian aggression, but does not want America drawn into another conflict through emotional manipulation."
Insider's live blog of the Russian invasion is covering developments as they happen.
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