(Update below: Massa to appear on Glenn Beck’s show Tuesday)
Congressman claims Democrats conspired to oust him, admits he told male staffer, ‘I ought to be frakking you’
On his last day as a US congressman, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) blasted White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Democratic leaders for allegedly conspiring to remove him from Congress. He also addressed allegations that he harassed a male aide, admitting his actions were “inappropriate.”
Massa said his opposition to the House health care bill was a huge thorn in the side of Democrats. His scheduled retirement for Monday afternoon eases up the landscape as the chamber now needs 216 votes — as opposed to 217 — to pass the bill. The National Journal’s Hotline reported:
“There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”
Massa voted against health care legislation in Nov., and he has not been a reliable vote for Dem leadership. That, he said, has put a target on his back.
“When I voted against the cap and trade bill, the phone rang and it was the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America, Rahm Emanuel, and he started swearing at me in terms and words that I hadn’t heard since that crossing the line ceremony on the USS New Jersey in 1983,” Massa said. “And I gave it right back to him, in terms and words that I know are physically impossible.”
“If Rahm Emanuel wants to come after me, maybe he ought to hold himself to the same standards I’m holding myself to and he should resign,” Massa said.
But the Congressman wasn’t done blasting Emanuel yet.
“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn,” Massa said. “He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive.”
He added that Emanuel confronted him in a shower once over his opposition to one of Obama’s budget proposals. “I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me,” Massa said.
Massa also sought to correct the record about the allegations of sexual misconduct with a male staffer, describing the event in question. Roll Call reports:
“On New Year’s Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.
Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident.
“I said goodnight to the bridesmaid,” Massa continued. “I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.”
“One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is frakking you.’ And then [I] tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.”
According to Roll Call, Massa also suggested he may not resign after all if the push to remove him from his seat became a “national story.”
[Massa] suggested on a New York radio station Sunday that he could rescind his resignation — scheduled to take effect at 5 p.m. Monday — after asserting that an ethics investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed one of his aides may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.
Responding to a caller to his weekly radio show on WKPQ Power 105 FM, a recording of which was made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, Massa said: “I’m not going to be a Congressman as of 5 o’clock [Monday] afternoon. The only way to stop that is for me to rescind my resignation. That’s the only way to stop it. And the only way that’s going to happen is if this becomes a national story.”
Massa to appear on Glenn Beck’s show Tuesday
It appears Massa isn’t going down silently. Fox News’s Glenn Beck announced Monday afternoon that the Congressman will appear on his show Tuesday for a full hour.
“Tomorrow at five: congressman Massa for the full hour,” announced Beck on Twitter Monday afternoon. “I just spoke with him off air. All Americans need To hear him. Exclusive 2morrow fox[.]”
The Washington Independent’s David Weigel notes, “In roughly 12 hours, Massa has changed his narrative from “congressman resigning in disgrace” to angry, Howard Beale-esque truth-teller who’d simply had enough and will take his party to the woodshed. Left unsettled: the incredibly important issue of whether he’ll resign today, as he said he would, or he’ll try to bring down the health care bill by staying in Congress.”
This audio is from WKPQ, recorded March 7, 2010.