Last week, Madison Cawthorn — the Trumpist lawmaker who thinks women are “earthen vessels” — surprised his conservative base by announcing he was getting divorced after about a year. But there was far, far more to the story. On Monday, people dug up an interview the North Carolina representative did with The Daily Caller in which he described how he and his soon-to-be-ex met cute. And it’s the kind of meet-cute you would see on an episode of The Americans.
In this video, Rep. Cawthorn claims he got married after a guy he met at a Russian casino scammed him into attending a CrossFit competition that didn’t actually exist, but “put me in the same room with the girl who would eventually become my fiancee.” pic.twitter.com/DqiNB4YXsf
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 27, 2021
As per Daily Kos, the interview hails from June, about six months after Cawthorn wed Cristina Bayardelle, so the lucky couple were likely still enjoying the salad days of their union. How did they meet? Well, the story, as told by Cawthorn, begins with the words “It all starts in a Russian casino,” and, well, it kind of gets weirder from there.
The story actually begins earlier than that, when Cawthorn and some friends went on a European trip before he underwent some intense reconstructive back surgery. They wound up in Sweden and Norway, and eventually Russia. There, they went to a St. Petersburg casino, where Cawthorn met “Todd,” an Army captain from Miami whom he quickly befriended.
The two later reconnected when Cawthorn was down in Miami. Todd texted the future politician, asking if he wanted to take part in a CrossFit competition. That’s where things get fishy.
“And so I laughed and said, ‘Well, Todd, I’m in a wheelchair. I obviously can’t do CrossFit.’ And he said, ‘Well, just do the pull-up section.’ And I was like, ‘OK, sounds good. And so I show up, but anyways it all was a sham. It was a fake CrossFit competition and he just wanted to put me in the same room with the girl who was eventually gonna become my fiancée. … And so we did and her and I hit it off and it’s been a magical relationship ever since.”
Few seemed to notice Cawthorn’s story when it aired over the summer, but when it belatedly made its way into the public consciousness, people found it pretty sketchy.
Madison Cawthorn’s divorce just went from boring information to national security concern in about 77 seconds of interview time with the Daily Caller.
This does not sound a normal meet-cute story whatsoever.
Very few of these stories involving Russia are.pic.twitter.com/Iw0gajXYhw
— Grant Stern is boosted! (@grantstern) December 27, 2021
I don’t like most “the Russians did an op” stories, because they’re so outlandish, but this one actually has me curious.
A meeting in a casino in St. Petersburg an invite to a fake CrossFit competition meeting a beautiful woman.
This is, at the very least, unusual. https://t.co/iZOJWHB4Qe
— Natalia Antonova (@NataliaAntonova) December 27, 2021
FWIW, Cawthorn is exactly the kind of person a hostile intelligence agency would target. He’s a known serial liar, so there’s plenty of blackmail opportunity just in the public record. He’s also young, decidedly *not* smart, and easy to manipulate.
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) December 27, 2021
Intersting. Madison Cawthorn’s Honeypot soon-to-be-ex-wife (he met her through a Russian agent) seems to have won his loyalties over for Mother Russia #ComradeCawhthorn #GoLiveInRussiaTraitor https://t.co/NWwClGWAog
— Jack The Patriot (@jackthepatriot1) December 26, 2021
The inane Cawthorn honeypot story makes no sense, unless it wasn’t a legal casino. In which case, more compromat… https://t.co/1DFr9Dm49y
— Truth Sandwich🗹 (@master_deli) December 23, 2021
Others poked holes in his story.
There are no legitimate casinos in St Petersburg… none
There ARE “social clubs” that allow gambling to foreigners of interest who are given a opportunity to compromise themselves pic.twitter.com/K6sSbaOk0n
— Jason E. Dunlap, Valeyard (Ret.) (@Red_eyedjedi) December 27, 2021
To make things even more suspect, Cawthorn went on Fox News over the Christmas weekend, where he sang the praises of Russian military might.
Putin’s spokesman, Madison Cawthorn, delivered the Kremlin talking points on Ukraine today on Fox News: “We’ve been fighting in a sandbox and in caves for the last 20 years. Meanwhile, they’ve been creating hypersonic missiles that can sink our entire fleet in the Black Sea.” pic.twitter.com/McEF9Agk4B
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 26, 2021
His compliments did not go unnoticed by Russian forces, who aired them on national television.
Suddenly, Madison Cawthorn’s Fox News clips, praising Russia’s military might and deriding America’s capabilities, are being broadcast on #Russia‘s state TV. Perfect timing, in light of his St. Petersburg story being so widely discussed in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/WmZONshjT3
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) December 27, 2021
What’s the truth? Will it ever come out? Whatever happens, Cawthorn is still out there, spreading lies and violent rhetoric on the taxpayers’ dime.
(Via Daily Kos)