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McCarthy meekly pushes back on Cawthorn's Zelenskyy attack

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn was "wrong" about Ukraine. But the criticism stopped there.


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pushed back ever so slightly Friday against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., who recently bashed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a "thug."

In a video shared widely on social media, Cawthorn can be heard denouncing Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government amid Russia's deadly invasion of the country.

“Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies," Cawthorn can be heard in the video telling a group of supporters in North Carolina earlier this month.

The North Carolina lawmaker is among a small but vocal group of House Republican Russophiles who have pushed talking points about the invasion that sound like they came straight from the Kremlin.

Cawthorn's comments are being shared across Russian state TV, NBC News reported Thursday:

During a press conference Friday, McCarthy was asked whether he’d spoken to Cawthorn about his Zelenskyy comment and if he still supported the congressman's re-election. Cawthorn's candidacy is facing a legal challenge due to his role in the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot.

"Madison is wrong," McCarthy responded, before railing against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal behavior.

McCarthy might have maintained a shred of dignity if he’d ended there. But when he was asked again whether he supports Cawthorn’s re-election, McCarthy quickly said yes.

Check out his meek response here: