Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), who was recently booted from House Ethics Committee after the panel opened an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him, on Tuesday said a younger aide who accused him of misconduct “invited” his behavior.
The New York Times reported over the weekend that Meehan settled a sexual misconduct complaint with the former aide, who was decades younger than Meehan and whose name has not been made public.
Meehan on Tuesday told the New York Times that the aide “specifically invited” his communications, and said the aide’s expression that she was not comfortable with his overtures “really” hurt his feelings.
“This was a person who specifically invited communication with me so that she would be able to have the ability to be there for me,” Meehan said. “That I would find later that that was not something that she was comfortable with, really hurts me.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he also claimed.
Meehan told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that he considered the aide a “soul mate” but did not pursue a relationship with her, and reacted badly when she told him she was in a relationship because he was stressed about the Obamacare repeal effort.
“Sometimes I have the tendency to lash out to others on the staff,” he said, “and you go hardest on the ones that you care the most about.”
Meehan said he “developed an affection” for the aide but told her that he was “happily married” and “not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship” and remained loyal to his wife.
“But we were soul mates,” Meehan said. “I think that the idea of soul mate is that sort of person that you go through remarkable experiences together.”