Ex-OSU wrestler walks back accusations against Jordan: I don’t know if he 'directly' knew about abuse

Ex-OSU wrestler walks back accusations against Jordan: I don’t know if he 'directly' knew about abuse
© Greg Nash

A former wrestler at Ohio State University is walking back his past assertion that Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRepublicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters Ex-OSU wrestler walks back accusations against Jordan: I don’t know if he 'directly' knew about abuse GOP chairman readies Steele dossier subpoenas MORE (R-Ohio) was aware of alleged sexual abuse by a team doctor while the lawmaker worked as an assistant wrestling coach at the university.

Mark Coleman told The Wall Street Journal last month that “there's no way unless he's got dementia or something that he's got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State," referring to Jordan.

"I have nothing but respect for this man. I love this man. But he knew as far as I'm concerned,” he said at the time.

ADVERTISEMENT

Coleman on Thursday sought to clarify that comment, telling CNN that he has no direct knowledge that Jordan was aware of the alleged sexual abuse.

"Maybe I spoke without thinking," Coleman told the network. "This has absorbed my life. Since I've said that, it's consumed me 24 hours a day, and I didn't like the way it was heading, the direction it was heading."

Coleman told CNN that he “was angry and said words that I shouldn't have said.”

"He may have known about some locker room banter because we did joke about it in the locker room, but I don't know of anyone ever reporting it to Jim Jordan directly,” he said.

"I'm clarifying [the earlier statement] because it's been on my mind for a long time and I feel guilty that this happened, and I wanted to clarify it," Coleman added. "Not change it. I said what I said."

Jordan has repeatedly denied that he had any knowledge of the alleged sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss while the lawmaker was working at Ohio State in the late 1980s and ‘90s. Strauss died in 2005.

Multiple former wrestlers have alleged that Jordan was aware of the sexual misconduct, while other former wrestlers and coaches have spoken in defense of the lawmaker.

Jordan is a high-profile conservative member of the House and is currently running to replace Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump ally suspends reelection campaign Congress should prohibit members from serving on company boards VAWA reauthorization: Even if the Democrats lose, they win? MORE (R-Wis.) as Speaker.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMattis defends reversing his stance on Trump's 'Space Force' Pelosi: Trump engages in racism 'constantly' Tom Steyer: Pelosi is wrong about Trump impeachment push MORE has previously said that he stands by Jordan “100 percent” amid the allegations, and brought the lawmaker on stage at a rally in Ohio last week.

“What a great defender he’s been, what courage,” Trump said after Jordan left the stage at the rally. “He’s a brave, tough cookie along with some of his friends.”