The political news site had published the images earlier Friday, noting they were taken in what “appears to be a party setting.” The site juxtaposed the photos with comments the congressman has made about adhering to “traditional values.”
Politico said the pics were given to the outlet by a person formerly close to Cawthorn and his campaign and were confirmed by a second person who also was formerly close to Cawthorn.
However, the website admitted it was still unclear exactly when the photos were taken.
— Michael Kruse (@michaelkruse) April 22, 2022
However, anyone expecting this to be a clue to Cawthorn’s earlier claims that Washington insiders have invited him to do cocaine and participate in orgies might be disappointed after the North Carolina Republican’s response to the story.
In a tweet posted after the article went live, Cawthorn said the pictures were just “goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise” that he says “were taken waaay before I ran for Congress.”
I guess the left thinks goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise (taken waaay before I ran for Congress) is going to somehow hurt me?
They're running out of things to throw at me...
Share your most embarrassing vacay pics in the replies🤦♂️https://t.co/YicRk0Albu
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) April 22, 2022
The photos aroused attention on social media, but many people noted that the eyebrow-raising factor wasn’t that Cawthorn partied in lingerie but the hypocrisy suggested by the images.
The conservative congressman has been a foe to the LGBTQ community. He recently gave a speech on the House floor in which he said the definition of a woman is “XX chromosomes, no tallywacker.”
Naturally, Twitter users had thoughts.
We're going to need to be exceptionally clear: the story is the hypocrisy.
There's nothing wrong with wearing lingerie, there's something very wrong with promoting the persecution of trans and gender non-conforming Americans. https://t.co/IAMeSw2kyb
— Matthew Cortland (@mattbc) April 22, 2022
I really don’t care if Madison Cawthorn wears women’s lingerie. But I do care that he polices the lives of trans and non-binary folks. There’s some trans kid in FL today who just wants to wear a bow tie, but they can’t because people like Cawthorn are making their lives hell.
— Rev. Dr. Em C. Heath (they/them) 🏳️⚧️ (@emilycheath) April 22, 2022
Madison Cawthorn, the comments from us libs merely point out your hypocrisy. If conservative white straight men were to loosen up a bit and stop being assholes to those different than you, you could learn to let down your hair a bit more and have laughs in life.
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) April 22, 2022
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) April 22, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.