Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
Trump defended GOP Rep. Jim Jordan on Thursday amid mounting allegations that the Ohio Republican overlooked years of sexual abuse during his time as a college wrestling coach.
Jordan, one of Trump’s fiercest allies and defenders in Congress, stands accused of turning a blind eye to widespread sexual abuse of student athletes by Ohio State University team doctor Richard Strauss.
Asked about the allegations on Thursday afternoon, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he doesn’t believe any of them, citing Jordan’s “outstanding” character as a defense.
“I don’t believe them at all,” Trump said, according to a pool report. “I believe him. Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent.”
“No question in my mind. I believe Jim Jordan 100%. He’s an outstanding man,” Trump added.
Trump’s comments come just as a fourth Ohio State wrestler came forward to contradict Jordan’s claims that he had no knowledge of the abuse that allegedly took place right under his nose.
The wrestler, Shawn Dailey, told NBC News that he was groped “half a dozen times” by the team doctor during the time period when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach.
Dailey said he didn’t report the abuse directly to Jordan, but said Jordan took part in conversations during which the doctor’s abuse of other team members came up.
Another former wrestler said on Wednesday that Jordan personally witnessed the team doctor and other faculty members performing lewd acts in front of student athletes.
Jordan has denied having any knowledge of the abuse — a claim that former wrestler Mike DiSabato says is patently false.
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato told NBC News earlier this week. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Of course, it’s not exactly a surprise that Trump is defending a man accused of enabling widespread sexual abuse.
Trump has similarly rushed to the defense of other men accused of serial sexual misconduct, including former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly — a “good person,” according to Trump — and the late Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, as well as former boxer Mike Tyson.
Believing allegations of abuse is a dangerous road to go down for Trump — after all, if he starts believing victims, he’d have to face the nearly two dozen women accusing him of sexual assault.
Published with permission of The American Independent.