Massa: 'I did nothing sexual' but resigned due to 'misbehavior'

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Massa has been under investigation for a groping incident. In an unorthodox, hour-long appearance on Fox News' "Glenn Beck Show," Massa was asked if he ever groped anyone sexually or criminally. He said he did not. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"No, no, no, no," he said. "I did nothing sexual."

But the ex-congressman did say that he behaved in an inappropriate way, backtracking from claims that he was forced out of Congress because of his stance against healthcare reform legislation.

"If somebody on my staff was offended...I own that. That's why I resigned," he said. "I own this misbehavior."

Massa says the "groping" incident  that sparked the complaint occurred at his 50th birthday party.  Massa's birthday was Sept. 16th.

"Yeah I did [grope someone]!" Massa exclaimed. "Not only did I grope him I tickled him ‘til he couldn’t breathe. Then four guys jumped on top of me. You can take anything out of context."

The groping allegations made public Tuesday did not mesh with previous statements Massa had made about the incident. He said on a radio interview on Sunday the incident that sparked the complaint occurred when he used a crude expression and ruffled the hair of a staffer in front of a table of them at a wedding party.

He said after his 50th birthday party his chief of staff advised him to move out of a house he was living in with other bachelor staffers because he did not deem it "congressional."

Massa said that he has still not been contacted by the House ethics committee, which is conducting the investigation into the groping allegations.

“Nobody from the ethics committee talked to me not even yet, not a word, not one," he said. "Everything I know about it I’ve learned from Mr. Gibbs and from the internet.” 

The New York Democrat did admit that he should have not gotten as close to his staff as he did.

“I should have never allowed myself to be as familiar with my staff as I was," he said.

The first segment of Massa's interview was filled with oddball moments.

Massa brought a photo album of him in the Navy in an effort to prove that his physical behavior was innocuous. He also held up an x-ray of his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which he cited in his decision to retire from office before he decided to resign later last week.

The New York Democrat said several times that he has "tickled" his staffers and his Navy friends.

Host Glenn Beck repeatedly asked Massa why he wanted to go on his show and why he decided to resign. 

Massa credited his misbehavior but also said that he was tired of fighting the Washington establishment of both political parties.

"I can't fight anymore, I can't do it anymore," he said.

"This is an interview that nodoby really wanted to happen," Beck said at the halfway point of his show.

By the end of the interview, Beck declared the interview a failure because he said Massa had failed out answer his questions.

"I think this is the first time I have wasted your time," Beck said. "And I apologize for that."

More in News

Darren Wilson: Resigning is 'hardest thing I’ve ever had to do'

Read more »