Amid allegations of overlooking sexual abuse as an assistant coach at Ohio State, conservative Rep. Jim Jordan has found a supporter in President Donald Trump. When asked about the allegations, President Trump said he believed Jordan “100 percent,” according to CNN.
“I don’t believe them at all. 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,” said President Trump.
Jordan, an ultra-conservative Rep. for Ohio and member of the House Freedom Caucus, had been an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994. Two members of that wrestling team allege that Jordan looked the other way when Dr. Richard Strauss, the school doctor who died in 2005, molested them and several other students. Accusations of abuse on Dr. Strauss’ behalf date back to the late 1970s. According to NBC News, the university announced in April that it would be investigating all accusations of Dr. Strauss’ sexual abuse.
Since news broke publically on Tuesday about the abuse, Jordan has repeatedly denied knowing anything. “We knew of no abuse. Never heard of abuse. If we had, we would have reported it,” Jordan said.
One of the former wrestlers, Mike DiSabato, believes Jordan is lying. While speaking with NBC News, he said that he once “considered Jim Jordan a friend,” but that “he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
DiSabato allegedly told Jordan that he planned to go public with the accusations of abuse. Jordan apparently told him to “please leave me out of it.” After he went public, and after being questioned by reports, Jordan said he feels “bullied” by DiSabato.
Another wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, has come forward with allegations of abuse. When speaking to NBC News, Yetts said, “For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him.”
Jordan’s denial of knowing about the sexual abuse has come under fire, as has Trump’s defense of him. But Trump, who has himself been accused of sexual abuse by 19 women, seems unfazed. The same day as he defended Jordan, it was announced that he hired Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who was ousted from the company after allegations that he covered up several instances of sexual abuse.