Recently-resigned Rep. Eric Massa insists he "did nothing sexual" with his staff, but he admits he tickled them, sent them "inappropriate" text messages, and told one aide he should be "fracking" him. Just hours after news broke that Massa was under investigation for groping male aides, the former New York Congressman told Glenn Beck: "Now they are saying I groped a male staffer. Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him. I tickled him until he couldn't breathe, and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday. It was kill the old guy. You can take anything out of context."
Massa initially said he was resigning due to his health, then blamed it on his "salty" language, and finally claimed he was booted from office by leading Democrats who launched a conspiracy to keep him from voting against health care. A White House spokesman has called Massa's allegations of a Democratic conspiracy "ridiculous," though the claims briefly made him a star among conservative pundits like Beck, who said the former Congressman was someone "all Americans need to hear." But according to the Daily News, the interview didn't go smoothly after Massa said he wasn't forced out of office, and the show ended when "an openly disgusted Beck declared he had wasted America's time."
Massa insisted that the sexual harassment allegations against him are really instances of "inappropriate horseplay," and admitted he sent "inappropriate" text messages to staffers. The Times plays up the fact that Massa—who is married—lived in a house in Washington with all of his aides, purportedly because they couldn't afford to pay the rent on their own. "I should not have allowed myself to become so familiar with my staff ... I never translated from my days in the Navy to being a congressman."
The House ethics committee was investigating allegations that Massa "groped at least three men who worked for him and had inappropriate physical contact with at least one intern," according to Politico. Gov. Paterson could call a special election for Massa's old seat, or he could let it remain vacant until November.