‘There’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American,’ said the congressman at a recent GOP event
At the event at the Macon County Republican Party headquarters in Franklin, Cawthorn said the US election was “rigged” and “stolen,” and raised the prospect that Americans would have to “pick up arms”. There is no evidence of mass voter fraud during the 2020 election.
“As much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American,” he said. “The way that we can have recourse against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states.”
Intelligence agencies stated in a report titled Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021, published in March, that “narratives of fraud” around the 2020 election and “the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol” will “almost certainly” spur acts of domestic terrorism.
While the North Carolina representative appears to endorse forceful political opposition, a spokesman has come to the defence of the congressman, explaining that he was condemning violence, not condoning it. “Congressman Cawthorn is clearly advocating for violence not to occur over election integrity questions,” Luke Ball told CNN.
“He fears others would erroneously choose that route and strongly states that election integrity issues should be resolved peacefully and never through violence,” said Ball.
Earlier in the day, Cawthorn held a shotgun that was being raffled off at the Republican event.
Rep. Cawthorn has repeated false allegations claims a number of times, including at the 6 January rally before Donald Trump and the insurrection at the US Capitol. Although he has been contradictory in his views. In January, he told CNN there was no election fraud.
“Yes, I think I would say that the election was not fraudulent,” he said.
At the GOP event on Sunday, Cawthorn also called for President Biden and Vice President Harris to be removed from office. “we will take them down, one at a time,” he said. Mr Ball later explained that Cawthorn was referring to the 25th Amendment process.