Embattled Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R) was caught on a recorded phone call yelling at an unnamed associate for leaking racist and sexist text messages sent by his now-ex chief of staff to the media.
“You haven’t released any personal text messages Cade would have sent you, have you?” he asked the associate — whose name Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 withheld — referring to his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren. “It sounds like you might have…. I hate that you did that.”
Just a day after the recorded call, Casada took to the airwaves to question the authenticity of the texts, especially as it became clear that he participated in some of the conversations.
“In this environment that we live in — because we as conservatives are winning the intellectual battle — I’m convinced that some liberal guy living with his mom and dad in their basement created this to frame my chief of staff,” Casada said on local radio station WWTN.
He changed his tune Monday when Cothren admitted that he sent at least some of the messages, which exposed his drug use in government buildings along with his sexual harassment of interns and offhand racist comments.
Cothren has now stepped down under immense political pressure, and Democrats are clamoring for Casada’s resignation. The speaker has dismissed his participation in the unsavory conversations as “locker room talk.”
For a deep dive on the many facets of the unfurling scandal, read here.