President Donald Trump said Thursday that he believes Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) denial that he knew anything about the systematic sexual abuse described by former members of the Ohio State University wrestling team, of which Jordan was once an assistant coach.
“I don’t believe them at all,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to pool reporter Todd J. Gillman of The Dallas Morning News. “I believe him.”
“Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington,” Trump continued. “I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind. I believe Jim Jordan 100 percent. He’s an outstanding man.”
Jordan has denied several former wrestlers’ accusation that he knew about, and intentionally ignored, the systematic sexual abuse of students by the late Dr. Richard Strauss.
“It’s not true,” Jordan told Politico Tuesday. “I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”
“It’s sad for me to hear that he’s denying knowing about Strauss,” former OSU wrestler Dunyasha Yetts told NBC News, which the broke the story, after an earlier denial from Jordan.
“I don’t know why he would, unless it’s a cover-up,” Yetts said. “Either you’re in on it, or you’re a liar.”
“Based on testimony from victim athletes from each of the aforementioned varsity sports, we estimate that Strauss sexually assaulted and/or raped a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU from 1978 through 1998,” former wrestler Mike DiSabato wrote in a June 26 email to a law firm that represents Ohio State, as quoted by NBC News.