Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) has stirred controversy online after admitting that he carried a firearm during the lockdown at the Capitol last week.
During a live podcast with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk at the time of the attack, Cawthorn, 25, stated that he had concealed a firearm inside of his wheelchair.
“Obviously having the wheelchair I’m able to carry multiple weapons at one time,” Cawthorn said. “Everyone around me is armed.”
Rules surrounding firearms at the Capitol are complex. While the general public is barred from bringing any weapons inside, legislators are allowed to have firearms in certain parts of the building.
Lawmakers are not, however, allowed to bring firearms inside legislative chambers as well as other parts of the Capitol. It remains unclear whether Cawthorn has ever brought a weapon into a restricted area or if he did so during the riot.
Although Cawthorn’s interview gained widespread attention this week, the congressman admitted the day after the siege in an interview with the Smoky Mountain News that he had been armed.
“Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves,” Cawthorn said.
Cawthorn was one of several supporters of President Donald Trump to speak at a rally across from the White House just before the Capitol was stormed.
“There is a new Republican Party on the rise that will represent this country, that will go and fight in Washington, D.C.,” Cawthorn told the rally.
Twitter users also pointed to previous remarks made by the Republican in which he urged his followers to “lightly threaten” their elected representatives.
Even after the violence unfolded at the Capitol, Cawthorn still chose to entertain a debunked conspiracy regarding widespread voter fraud by voting to overturn the election results.
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