Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday regarding his ex-legislative aide Brian Furer, who police allege held his girlfriend at knifepoint in 2008.
Vitter downplayed the controversy, calling it old news. According to ABC News, Vitter told reporters the issue has been "misrepresented."
The Vitter aide who was involved in the 2008 altercation resigned last month after an ABC News report on the incident. Until Wednesday, Vitter repeatedly refused to answer questions about his decision to keep the man on his staff for two more years despite his arrest and subsequent guilty pleas to lesser charges.
When asked why he had assigned Furer to handle women's issues, Vitter said that he had done no such thing.
"He was not," Vitter said. "That's just one of several issues that have been completely misreported. Tanya Newman, Nicole Herbert in my office are assigned to women's issues. That's always been the case."
Democrats are pushing back hard against that denial. Furer was listed on a number of websites and legislative directories as working on women's issues in Vitter's office.
The National Organization for Women asked the Senate to censure Vitter this past weekend for keeping Furer on staff after the senator was made aware of the incident.
Vitter spoke to reporters after officially filing papers for his re-election at the Louisiana secretary of state's office.
Despite the controversy, Sen. Vitter still leads Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) in the polls. The latest Rasmussen numbers had Vitter ahead 53-35.