POLITICS
07/06/2018 11:28 am ET Updated Jul 06, 2018

Trump Defends Jim Jordan Over Ohio State Abuse Allegations

The powerful GOP congressman has been accused of not taking action against alleged sexual abuse that occurred when he coached wrestling at the school.

President Donald Trump on Thursday defended Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who at least five wrestlers have claimed turned a blind eye to sexual abuse while he was coaching at Ohio State University.

“I don’t believe them at all,” he told reporters on Air Force One, before a raucous campaign rally in Montana. “I believe him. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind.”

The president praised Jordan ― a Trump ally and co-founder of the powerful, conservative House Freedom Caucus ― calling him “an outstanding man.”

Former wrestlers have accused their team doctor from the time of sexual abuse in the mid-’90s. Five former wrestlers also say Jordan, who served as an assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994, knew about the abuse but did nothing, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Jordan has denied the claims.

“It’s absolutely untrue the things that have been said about me. If there had been any reports of abuse I would have reported it,” Jordan said Thursday.

Trump, who has faced his own sexual misconduct allegations from at least 20 women, also joked about the Me Too movement during Thursday night’s rally.

Earlier that day, the White House officially announced that Trump hired former Fox News Co-President Bill Shine as his deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine resigned from Trump’s favorite news network after allegations that he tried to cover up sexual harassment involving executives at the cable giant.

The president frequently casts doubt on sexual misconduct allegations and denigrates accusers. Last fall, he stood by former Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting nearly 10 women, some when they were children.

During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed that his accusers were lying — by mocking their physical appearance.

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