Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) denied claims that he knew about the sex abuse of college wrestlers by a team physician when he was a coach at Ohio State University -- and his Democratic challenger Shannon Freshour called him a liar.
At least four former wrestlers and a referee have said they complained to Jordan about Dr. Richard Strauss -- but the Ohio Republican dismissed their claims as ridiculous, reported WCMH-TV.
"The idea that I wouldn’t stand up for our athletes if I thought there was some kind of harm happening to them is ridiculous," Jordan told the station. "I’ve stood up to the FBI. I’ve stood up to the IRS. I’ve stood up to Adam Schiff. I’ve stood up to John Boehner, the speaker of the House from our own state in our own party. So, if I think, there was, if I thought there was something wrong or if I knew there was something wrong happening, I would have stood up for him. But like I said, everyone, every single coach has said the same thing I have because the reason they’ve said that just because that’s the truth."
The TV reporter reminded Jordan that a fencing coach kept her athletes away from Strauss, and pointed out that his locker was near the physician's.
"I’ve talked to other coaches who were there at the time and athletes like Dan Ritchie says Dr. Strauss had a locker two down from yours," said reporter Colleen Marshall. "How were you not aware that he was in there taking a shower every day and pleasuring himself in front of these students when they all knew about it?"
Jordan insisted he hadn't been aware.
"If someone would have reported some kind of abuse to me if I had known about it, I would have reported it," he said. "I would have taken on anyone. I would have defended our athletes just like I defend the taxpayers, when the IRS targeted taxpayers, just like I stood up to all kinds of folks in Washington, I would have done it. But no one reported anything and then we’d never heard of any type of abuse."
Freshour, who's running as a Democrat for Jordan's congressional seat, ripped the lawmaker as a liar.
"This is a damning to hell lie," Freshour tweeted. "He knew, survivors stated he knew, other members of staff said he knew. He mocked the survivors when they sought his help."
"Oh and he is currently protecting a serial sexual predator now so really how is that anything about a flat-out lie," she added.
This is a damning to hell lie. He knew, survivors stated he knew, other members of staff said he knew.. He mock… https://t.co/vsL2dCzVMn— Shannon in Ohio 4 (@Shannon in Ohio 4) 1579717492.0