Foley: I’m not a pedophile because the pages were almost 18.

Today, former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) finally broke his two-year silence after the revelations about his lurid IM conversations with congressional pages. Foley conceded that his behavior was “extraordinarily stupid,” but throughout the AP interview, he stayed on the defensive:

markfoley234.jpgSays he’s not a pedophile: “The work I was doing was involving young children … You know, you hear the term ‘pedophile.’ That is prepubescent,” Foley said, noting a “huge difference” from lurid chats with teens on the brink of adulthood.

The children didn’t say no: “There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, “Stop,” or “I’m not enjoying this,” or “This is inappropriate,” he said.

It was a “momentary lapse of judgment,” Foley claimed. But he “carried on the computer conversations for months, asking about masturbation, sex, and other details,” the AP notes.

UPDATE: Watch part an interview with a West Palm Beach television station: