Hoyer: Massa Claims “Absurd”

Eric Massa | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/buffalopundit/3838503644/">BuffaloPundit</a> (<a href="http://www.creativecommons.org">Creative Commons</a>).

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Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y) claims that he was “forced out” of Congress by Dem leaders because of his opposition to health care reform—not because of sexual harrassment allegations that surfaced last week. That accusation is “absurd,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters in a forceful exchange Tuesday morning. “It’s absolutely untrue that there was any relationship” between what happened to Massa and health care, Hoyer said.

While it’s true that Massa’s departure makes passing health care reform a bit easier, the former congressman’s explanation for his retirement has changed repeatedly in recent days. On Wednesday, he said that a recurrence of cancer would require him to retire. The next day, after Politico reported that a male staffer had filed a sexual harrassment complaint against Massa, the Congressman told TPM’s Brian Beutler that the allegations were “totally false” and he was just a “salty old sailor.” On Friday, Massa issued a statement assuring his constituents that “there is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone.” Then, on Sunday, Massa went on a local radio show in his district to explain that Dem leaders—including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel—were part of a conspiracy to end his political career.

Despite Hoyer’s denials, Massa appears to be sticking with his latest story. He’s still scheduled to spend an hour talking about the subject on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show tonight. “All Americans need to hear him,” Beck says.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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