NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New pictures obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates provide fresh insight into the close relationship between House Speaker Glen Casada and his now-former chief of staff, Cade Cothren.
The pictures show the pair, with a woman whom NewsChannel 5 is not identifying, back in April 2016 outside The Standard, a private club that bills itself as “Nashville’s private sanctuary.”
At the time, Casada was chair of the House Republican Caucus. Cothren was the caucus press secretary, reporting to Casada.
Text messages obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates from this same time period show vulgar exchanges between the two men about women.
But the House Speaker has attempted to distance himself from Cothren, claiming that he did not know he was sexually pursuing interns and lobbyists. He has also denied knowing about his use of illegal drugs and his use of racist language.
Two months after the pictures were taken, Cothren sent a text to a former associate boasting that he “just did a gram of cocaine in my office.”
Here is part of the statement that Casada released Wednesday:
“I take complete ownership over the text messages with inappropriate comments about women that I exchanged with my former Chief of Staff and another individual several years ago. It’s embarrassing and humbling to have it displayed in this manner. I apologize and hope that my friends, family, colleagues, and constituents find a way to forgive me for it because it is not the person I am and it hasn’t been the way I have conducted myself as Speaker.
“I’d also like to take the time to express my sincere disappointment for the myriad of other messages between my former Chief of Staff and another individual that have surfaced which included racial slurs, drug use, and various other inappropriate comments. I condemn them in their entirety and I do not tolerate that type of behavior as an elected official or as a human being.”
Stay with NewsChannel 5 throughout the day for continuing coverage of the Capitol Hill controversy.
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