Embattled Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn closed his speech at a rally for former president Donald Trump in North Carolina by pulling himself out of his wheelchair with the help of two aides.
Mr Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair after he was injured in a car crash, spoke to a crowd in Selma before Mr Trump’s address on Saturday evening. The freshman Republican, who is the youngest member of Congress elected, was speaking to the crowd about the upcoming midterm election.
“My friends, this country can change very quickly and it may seem impossible, people tell me it’s impossible,” he said before he wheeled up to the lectern and with the help of two aides, propped himself up on metal braces.
“Well, my friends, God spared my life,” he said, speaking of the car accident. “He has given me the strength to stand before you today so do not lecture me on what is impossible. My fellow patriots, Americans are in the business of doing the impossible because with God, all things are impossible.”
Mr Cawthorn has frequently propped himself up with aides during inspirational speeches and on the campaign trail. He did a similar thing during the 2020 Republican National Convention while reciting the pledge of allegiance.
But Mr Cawthorn has also been found to have fabricated major parts of the story about his car crash. While he has said in the past that his friend fled the scene and he was “declared dead,” his friend Bradley Ledford told The Washington Post last year that he had actually pulled Mr Cawthorn out of the car wreck and an accident report found that Mr Cawthorn had been declared simply “incapacitated.”
Mr Cawthorn has come under fire in recent weeks from his fellow Republicans after he said on a podcast that members had invited him to an orgy and taken “a key bump of cocaine” in front of him.
In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy chided him and said Mr Cawthorn admitted that he fabricated the story.
“In the interview, he claims he watched people do cocaine. Then when he comes in he tells me, he says he thinks he saw maybe a staffer in a parking garage from 100 yards away,” Mr McCarthy said, according to Axios. “I just told him he’s lost my trust, he’s gonna have to earn it back, and I laid out everything I find is unbecoming. And, you can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s, he’s got a lot of members very upset.”