Glen Casada, the House Speaker for the state of Tennessee, defended his inappropriate exchanges between himself and a former staff member. He stated that the conversation was simply “locker room talk” and that it does not reflect his current views on women.
“I am not proud of that,” said Casada on a news radio. He spoke to WWTN=FM host Brian Wilson about the situation.
“I’m embarrassed about that. In the last couple of years, I have come to realize … I can’t do this and it is not appropriate behavior. So, yes, I participated in locker room talk with two adult men that was not intended to go to anyone else, and I was wrong. In the last several years, that kind of talk has not entered and left my mouth.” he said.
This interview on the radio comes just one day after the discovery of the text messages that were made back in 2016. The exchange was between Casada and his chief of staff, Cade Cothren, who resigned on Monday due to the messages being made public.
At the time of the messages, Cothren was press secretary for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.
The exchange initially started when Cothren sent a picture of one of his female friends pole dancing to Casada.
The House Speaker responded with, “Nice pics.”
Cothren: “Hands to yourself :)”
The Speaker: “Can I just touch?”
Cothren: “Lol okay maybe just once.”
The Speaker: “Lol.”
After the exchange was made public, Casada stated that he had “got caught up in the moment at that time and participated in that text messaging with two adult men, and that is not me today.”
The House Speaker stated the vulgar text messages reflected a “very short period of my life.”
Investigations first showed that there was text messages Cothren had sent to friends that expressed racist views. One of these exchanges were also with Casada.
Originally, The House Speaker was accusing news channels of providing the public with fake and fabricated messages. As of now though, he didn’t question the authenticity or claim that they were fake when he was on air at the radio interview.
“If I received that, I don’t remember,” he said.
With all of this, Casada also stated that he had no idea about Cothren’s sexual pursuit of interns and lobbyists. He also said that he didn’t realize Cothren was using illegal drugs.
A text from 2015 revealed that Cothren was bragging about snorting cocaine in his legislative office during his work hours.
Despite everything, Casada still says that he believes he enjoys “overwhelming” support from the House Republican Caucus.
“They are proud to have someone in charge that is leading in a direction of making Tennessee the most conservative state – and that’s defined as keeping government out of your way and keeping more money in your back pocket,” Casada said.