President Donald Trump on Thursday backed conservative Rep. Jim Jordan, who is being accused of knowingly overlooking the sexual abuse of wrestlers he coached at Ohio State University.
Jordan, a close ally of the President’s, has emphatically denied having any knowledge at the time that the university’s sports doctor was molesting the wrestlers. Ohio State University announced in April it was investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled at the team doctor Richard Strauss.
“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,” Trump told reporters Thursday aboard Air Force One.
“No question in my mind. I believe Jim Jordan 100%. He’s an outstanding man,” Trump added.
Trump is taking Jordan’s word over that of two former wrestlers who have publicly accused Jordan of knowing about the alleged sexual abuse and opting to turn a blind eye during his tenure as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994
Jordan rebuked the allegations this week in an interview with Politico, saying he “never knew about any type of abuse.”
“If I did, I would have done something about it,” Jordan said. “And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”
Trump’s defense of Jordan comes the same day he formally announced he had hired Bill Shine, who resigned as co-president of Fox News after he was accused of covering up alleged sexual harassment at the media company. Shine was cited in at least four lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or racial discrimination and was largely considered unhirable after his unceremonious exit from Fox News.