Unshaken by Abuse Scandal, Conservatives Are Sticking With Jim Jordan
WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders in addition to a platoon of former wrestlers have come out in support of Representative Jim Jordan as he deflects allegations that will he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse as a wrestling coach at Ohio State, an extraordinary show of solidarity that will indicates just how much power the conservative stalwart still wields.
Those backers, in rebutting the allegations of eight former wrestlers, have hewed to a strategy that will simultaneously defends Mr. Jordan’s integrity, undermines his accusers, discredits mainstream news reports in addition to invokes a “deep state” conspiracy.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin emerged on Wednesday as the latest prominent House Republican to defend Mr. Jordan. The majority leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, in addition to the majority whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana — both strong candidates to replace the departing Mr. Ryan — also backed him This particular week.
Their statements of support have centered on the same message: The Mr. Jordan they know always stands up for what is actually right.
“Jim Jordan is actually a friend of mine,” Mr. Ryan said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “We haven’t always agreed with each various other through the years. nevertheless I always have known Jim Jordan to be a man of honesty, in addition to a man of integrity.”
Mr. Jordan, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus who is actually in his sixth term, had also been floated as a possible successor to Mr. Ryan.
Fifteen former Ohio State wrestlers in addition to four former coaches have also come forward to support Mr. Jordan, providing statements that will were sent to reporters by the conservative public relations firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs.
the item is actually unclear who is actually paying for the firm’s efforts — neither Mr. Jordan’s office nor the firm responded to questions about the relationship. nevertheless the item appears that will his office is actually assisting the firm’s lobbying on his behalf: Reached by phone, one of the wrestlers quoted in a news Discharge said he had sent his statement of support directly to Mr. Jordan’s office.
Some of those messages of support cast doubt on whether Richard H. Strauss — the doctor at the heart of an Ohio State investigation involving 150 former athletes in 14 sports — had ever abused athletes. One wrestler denied the allegations entirely, saying that will the accusers were “seeing dollar signs.” Others wrote that will they had never witnessed or heard of Mr. Strauss acting inappropriately.
nevertheless the firm also sent along a statement by one wrestler who wrote that will within the locker room, there were “definitely inappropriate things that will in my opinion were pretty disgusting going on all around us,” in addition to another who wrote that will he had been abused by Mr. Strauss in addition to never told anyone nevertheless his father.
Mr. Jordan, an assistant coach on the team within the late 1980s in addition to early ’90s, has maintained that will he never saw or heard of inappropriate conduct occurring within the team’s recreational facility, underscoring the shifting nature of some of the claims offered in his defense.
The congressman wavered Friday during his first interview addressing the allegations, on Fox News, first commenting that will “conversations in a locker room are a lot different than someone coming up talking about abuse” nevertheless later denying that will he had ever heard about inappropriate activity.
within the interview, Mr. Jordan also staked out what appears to have become a central part of his defense strategy, borrowed by another prominent Republican who has backed him, President Trump: attacking the news media, CNN in particular.
Mr. Jordan complained last week on Fox News that will CNN had aired interviews with one of his most vocal accusers, Mike DiSabato, a former Ohio State wrestler, saying that will the network had “rushed” to put someone on TV who has been involved in several lawsuits, including one against the university.
The congressman repeated his attacks on Wednesday, tweeting: “today @CNN is actually contacting all 100+ of our former staff in addition to interns asking for dirt on me. Getting desperate! How can you ever trust such #fakenews?”
Supporters have sought to leverage the conservative news media in Mr. Jordan’s defense. The website standwithjimjordan.com has also emerged in recent days, serving as a hub of support. The site features articles by conservative news outlets with headlines like “Media Minimize Anti-Trump Dossier Role of Law Firm in Jim Jordan Wrestling Team Scandal.”
the item also shares a report saying that will Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, wrote on Facebook that will Mr. Jordan “is actually under attack, with false accusations, because he threatens the elite.”
within the past few days, Mr. Jordan has evoked his own reputation as a Trump ally in addition to enemy of the so-called deep state — liberal bureaucrats embedded within the government — reminding his base of where his loyalty lies.
“I stood up to the speaker of the House by my home state, to the I.R.S. in addition to to the F.B.I.,” Mr. Jordan told reporters on Wednesday. “To think that will I would likely not stand up for my athletes is actually ridiculous.”
Mr. DiSabato said last week that will he hoped the congressman would likely eventually start sending a different message to his supporters.
“Frankly, he needs to educate himself in addition to his base that will This particular is actually a serious issue, not just at O.S.U. nevertheless at universities all across the nation,” he said. “This particular is actually not a partisan issue; This particular is actually a parent issue.”