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Senator Blackburn calls language from Speaker Casada’s former chief of staff “disgusting”


Senator Blackburn calls language from Speaker Casada’s former chief of staff “disgusting”

By ALEXANDER WILLIS

In a conference call Thursday afternoon, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn briefly touched on the ongoing scandal involving Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, calling some of the language exchanged between the state legislator and his former chief of staff, Cade Cothren, “disgusting.”

Blackburn, however, did not call for Casada’s resignation, saying that was a decision to be made by the House Republican Caucus.

In a report by the Tennessean published Monday, Cothren was revealed through leaked text messages to have sent sexually explicit messages to and about interns, used racially derogatory remarks such as the n-word, as well as to have used cocaine in the state legislative offices, something Cothren issued a statement on that same day. Casada was also found to have been included on some of the text messages with Cothren.

Casada has maintained his intention not to step down from his position, despite numerous calls from local leaders for his resignation, including from fellow Republican State Legislator Sam Whitson in an interview with the Williamson Herald.

“A decision on whether he steps down or not, that will be for the House Republican Caucus who elected him to make that decision, and then his service depends on the people who elected him, and they’re the ones that will make that decision,” Blackburn said. “The things that I’ve read; the comments, the texts, are pretty disgusting.”

Jeremy Finley of Channel 4 news pressed Blackburn on the matter, asking whether or not she personally believed Casada should still maintain his position in the Tennessee General Assembly.

“I know that it ultimately falls to the caucus to make this decision,” Finley said, “but personally, do you believe that he should still remain in that position?”

“I think that it is going to be the House Republican Caucus that is going to make a decision on that,” Blackburn reaffirmed, “and I am not a member of the House Republican Caucus.”

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