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Hoyer’s Office Denies Massa Allegation; Massa Going On Beck For Full Hour Tomorrow

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office dismissed the allegation by soon-to-be-former Rep. Eric Massa that he lied about the sexual harrassment charge and the referral to the House Ethics Committee, calling it completely false.

On his radio show yesterday, Massa claimed that “Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, not ever, not once. Not a word. This is a lie. It’s a blatant false statement.”

Hoyer spokeswoman Katie Grant tells TPM, “That’s completely false. There is zero merit to that accusation.”

There’s a problem in divining all this because Hoyer’s initial statement and Massa’s accusation don’t totally match up. Hoyer’s statement from last week said that his staff instructed Massa’s staff to bring the misconduct allegation “to the attention of the bipartisan Ethics Committee within 48 hours.” Massa charges that Hoyer never talked to him. As I said, these don’t match up.

But Massa is certainly not done with the allegations. He’s appearing on Glenn Beck’s show tomorrow for the full hour, presumably to recount much of what he said in yesterday’s radio interview. Perhaps he’ll elaborate about the lobbying session with Rahm Emanuel in the shower.

“Let me tell you a story about Rahm Emanuel,” Massa started. “I was a congressman in my first eight weeks, and I was in the congressional gym, and I went down and I worked out and I went into the showers…I’m sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird and here comes Rahm Emanuel not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn’t going to vote for the president’s budget. Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?

“By the way, what the heck is he doing in the Congressional gym,” Massa continued. “He goes there to intimidate members of Congress…He’s hated me since day one, and now he wins.”

In another part of the radio interview, Massa recalls walking in on a bunkmate who was masturbating, and “instead of embarrassing him I smacked him on the leg and said, ‘you need any help with that, let me know.’ And I went to bed. And he was so hideously embarrassed, he moved out of the state room, because he couldn’t take it.”

Massa seems like a character in some Saturday Night Live sketch who keeps getting himself entangled in situations that could be misconstrued – a real-life “Ambiguously Gay Duo” or something. But more to the point, he clearly blames Democratic leaders for forcing him out of Congress, and tomorrow’s appearance on Beck shows that he has no compunction against bringing the leadership down along with him.

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David Dayen

David Dayen