Newly-elected GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn (N.C.) said he was armed last week when an angry mob attacked the Capitol.
Cawthorn told the Smoky Mountain News a day after the attack that he was on the House floor when he and other lawmakers were told to evacuate as rioters began to break down windows and doors, after forcing their way into the Capitol building.
“Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves,” Cawthorn told the North Carolina newspaper.
It’s not entirely clear if Cawthorn carried a gun on to the House floor.
Cawthorn’s director of communications, Micah Bock, said in an emailed statement to The Hill that Cawthorn “exercises his 2nd Amendment rights, as well as privileges accorded to him as a member of Congress.”
Bock added that “Congressman Cawthorn seeks to abide by all known Capitol Police regulations.”
Cawthorn earlier on the day of the attack spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally as part of President Trump’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election amid unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud.
Following the Capitol attack, the freshman congressman joined a group of other GOP lawmakers in voting to support challenges to the certification of votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, both of which were won by President-elect Joe Biden.
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