Jordan claims the accusations were timed conveniently to undermine his possible election to Speaker of the U.S. House.
Fox News’ Bret Baier questioned Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on numerous accusations from former players from his time as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University that he knew about sexual abuse from a team doctor.
Baier began the interview by outlining the accusations from various former players that Jordan knew that Richard Strauss, the team’s doctor, was sexually assaulting student athletes, and asked him to respond.
“It’s false,” Jordan replied.
“I mean I never saw, never heard of, never was told about any type of abuse,” he added. “If I had been, I would have dealt with it.”
“Our coaching staff, we woulda dealt with,” he continued. “These are our student athletes. A good coach puts the interests of his student athletes first. We would have dealt with it if we had known about anything that happened.”
“If in fact there are victims, they deserve justice,” Jordan added.
The Blaze reports,
Jordan, who is the conservative House Freedom Caucus chairman and considered a prospect to become the next speaker of the House, said that he would meet with investigators next week over the matter.
“Conversations in a locker room are a lot different than allegations of abuse,” he explained, “or reported abuse to us.”
Jordan claimed that one of his accusers, Mike DiSabato, had a “vendetta” against Ohio State University and his family, and he outlined various lawsuits and arrests that he said undermined Sabato’s claims. He also criticized CNN for interviewing DiSabato without checking his background.
“Unless he’s got dementia or something”
“OK, but you know there are others,” Baier interjected. “You know it’s not just him. Now there are five.”
Baier asked Jordan to respond to claims from another former Ohio State wrestler, Mark Coleman, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.
“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” read the quote from Coleman. “I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”
“I feel sorry for Mark Coleman,” Jordan responded. He said that his accusations were not accurate.
“It was very common knowledge…”
Baier pressed him with a quote from Shawn Dailey, another former wrestler. “I participated with Jimmy and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss,” read the quote. “We all did. It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down.”
“Not true,” Jordan responded, and Baier pressed him further. Jordan continued making a distinction between locker room conversations and actual accusations from student athletes of sexual abuse.
“So did you hear it in the locker room?” Baier asked.
“No,” Jordan responded. “No. No type of abuse, we did not hear that, because if we had, we would have dealt with it.”
Ohio State University is investigating the claims of sexual harassment and assault by Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005.