GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn Lying About Acceptance Into Naval Academy, Training for Paralympic Games: Report

The Nation reports that Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) — who told Trump supporters to “lightly threaten” lawmakers who accept the legitimate presidential election results — has been deceiving the public about his acceptance into the Naval Academy and training for the Paralympic Games (for disabled people):

Cawthorn became disabled after a 2014 car crash left him paralyzed from the waist down. By Cawthorn’s own telling, he was a successful business owner headed to the Naval Academy before his injury tragically reordered his life. As it turns out, neither claim is true. The Asheville Watchdog reported that Cawthorn had already been rejected from the Naval Academy before his accident. And Cawthorn’s real-estate investment firm, SPQR Holdings LLC, which he only formed in August 2019, reported no income on its tax documents, and Cawthorn was the sole employee...

Cawthorn frequently said on social media that he was “training” for the Paralympic Games. Technically, such a statement could be true—but only in the sense that I could be training for the Olympic Games. “It’s like a kid saying they want to play in the NBA when they’re on their fourth-grade basketball team,” said Amanda McGrory, a three-time Paralympian who has earned seven medals in track and field. Cawthorn stated on the Christian inspirational podcast The Heal, “I had an opportunity for the Paralympics for track and field.” He did not have that opportunity, nor does it appear he took any meaningful steps that would have led him there...

In addition to not being on a team, Cawthorn does not appear to have competed in any qualifying races. Robert Kozarek, a former elite wheelchair marathoner, said he would have met Cawthorn at some point if he had been serious competition. Kozarek himself never qualified for the Paralympic Games. “The community itself is small. There’s probably 50 [elite wheelchair racers] in the entire country, and we see each other four, five, six times a year, at least.”

…But what Cawthorn said on social media about his Paralympic training was often impossible, according to Siemann, McGrory, and multiple other former and current Paralympians. For example, in one post from May 2019, Cawthorn uses the hashtag “qualifiers.” In another post from February 2019, Cawthorn mentions that he is going to the “US Open” in June. But McGrory told me, “There were no qualifying meets in 2019.” Both she and Siemann had no idea what the “US Open” in Cawthorn’s post could possibly refer to.

(Source: The Nation, Photo Credit: Rep. Madison Cawthorn)

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