Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) supports his fellow Ohio Republican and Freedom Caucus colleague Rep. Jim Jordan to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. Asked Tuesday why he is backing a colleague who has been accused by at least eight former wrestlers at Ohio State of turning a blind eye to a sexually abusive team doctor, Davidson offered an odd response.
“I’ve never known him to be a non-confrontational guy,” Davidson said, noting that he has “only known” Jordan for about two and a half years. “He’s been a straight shooter with me every time I’ve interacted with him.”
Prior to his tenure in Congress, Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. The team doctor at that time, the late Richard Strauss, has been accused of sexually assaulting and/or raping at least 1,500 students over a decades-long tenure at the school.
Though several former students, like former UFC world champion Mark Coleman (who roomed with Jordan on several wrestling trips), have claimed there was “no way” Jordan didn’t know about the abuse, the congressman maintains he was unaware.
Pressed by CNN’s Poppy Harlow as to whether he believes his colleagues over the many former students, Davidson sided with Jordan.
“I do believe Jim’s version,” he said. “And I do hope that if the accusers have been on the receiving end of sexual abuse, whether at OSU or anywhere else, that they get justice and the people that have done that are held accountable”
Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Fox News host Sean Hannity have defended Jordan, while President Donald Trump dismissed the former wrestlers’ accusations, saying “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him.”