An investigation into allegations that US Rep. Jim Jordan (D-OH), among others, turned a blind eye to the abuse of athletes by a physician at Ohio State University just surfaced in public this week. "If they had I would have dealt with it".
"I considered Jim Jordan a friend", Mike DiSabato, one of Strauss's accusers, told NBC. "No question in my mind", Trump added in the Thursday comments to reporters aboard Air Force One as they headed out for a Trump campaign rally in Montana.
"Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State", a Jordan spokesman told CBS News.
Politico reported shortly before Jordan's appearance Friday night that six of the former wrestlers had spoken to the publication about the alleged abuse.
Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987 until 1995 before going into politics.
Jordan spokesman Ian Fury said the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is "non-existent" and does not appear to generate a bounceback error message to those who use it outside the House firewall.
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"We knew of no abuse, never heard of abuse". Jordan said. "Conversations in the locker room are a lot different than people coming up talking about abuse".
Rep Jordan's spokesman said Thursday the Republican is working with investigators to set up a meeting.
Jordan will sit down TONIGHT at 6:00pm ET with Bret Baier for a live, exclusive interview, offering his first detailed response to the allegations made by several former wrestlers.
The allegations come at a critical time for Jordan, whom conservative outside groups have endorsed as a possible replacement for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who is not running for reelection. I believe Jim Jordan 100 percent. His staff is now alleging that Jordan's original accuser, Michael DiSabato, sent threatening emails to the congressman before and after the story broke. Jordan, who was the assistant coach from 1986 to 1994, may have covered up the incidents, according to the reports.
DiSabato subsequently told CNN it was "laughable" that Jordan would feel threatened by his emails, describing Jordan as a "world caliber athlete, who is very aggressive in his actions" and a "bulldog". But those NBC News spoke with say that just isn't so. He recalled an incident where Strauss - whose locker was next to Jordan's - had dressed after a shower to leave the building, but then disrobed and went back in for another one after noticing a favorite athlete entering the shower room.
"But to say that he had no knowledge of it, I would say that's kind of hurtful".