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Monday, October 02, 2006
Hastert says he did not know about instant messages
From CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, said Monday that he was not aware of former Rep. Mark Foley's, R-Florida, sexually explicit instant messages with a 16 year old page until the conversations were released by ABC News on Friday.

"The instant messages reportedly between Congressman Foley and a former page sent in 2003 were vile and repulsive both to myself and to my colleagues," Hastert told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "No one in the Republican leadership nor Congressman Shimkus saw those messages until last Friday when ABC news released them to the public."

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, the chairman of the House Page Board, said the instant messages made him "sick" and he was committed to protecting the pages from such behavior. Shimkus said that pages and former pages can call a hotline if they have any concerns about "improper contact."

Neither Hastert nor Shimkus took questions in the seven minute press conference.
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