WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn is facing allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by several women who say he put them in uncomfortable situations when he was a college student, with the former classmates detailing to CNN on Monday how the rising star of the conservative right would use “fun” drives as a way to make unwanted advances on them.
Allegations of sexual misconduct by Cawthorn, who at age 25 is the youngest member of Congress, have followed him since he launched his run for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. But the claims have gained renewed attention as the freshman congressman’s popularity has steadily increased in some Republican corners following his move earlier this year to Washington, where he has closely aligned himself with some of his far-right colleagues and former President Donald Trump’s lie that the November election was illegitimate.
Cawthorn has repeatedly denied wrong-doing since the allegations first surfaced, and his office pointed CNN to a September 2020 statement from the lawmaker in which he said, “I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life.”
The women alleging misconduct against the congressman are former classmates of his at Patrick Henry College in Virginia. Cawthorn attended the private Christian school for a short time in 2016 before dropping out, and it was during that time that the women say he made unwanted advances on them.