FEATURED:

Ensign in spotlight upon return

Sen. John Ensign returned to Capitol Hill Monday, a week after admitting an extramarital affair, but stayed largely silent under the media glare.

The Nevada Republican showed up at his first-floor office in the Russell Senate Office Building in the afternoon, declining to comment in detail to reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT
A handful of reporters and photographers had kept watch over Ensign's office from the end of a hallway connecting it to the Senate subway for about two hours.

Emerging for a procedural vote on a tourism promotion bill with Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (R), Ensign walked from the Russell building outdoors to the front door of the Senate as a half-dozen reporters and cameramen trailed him.

Ensign repeatedly resisted commenting when asked details about his affair with a staffer and reports that extortion was involved. He instead referred reporters to his public statement in Las Vegas last Monday, at which he refused to take questions.

“I have no more other comments to make,” he said. “I have nothing further to add.”

The senator repeated variations of that statement seven times when asked about the affair and whether he would resign. He has already resigned as GOP policy chairman, the Senate’s No. 5 leadership position among Republicans

Asked what he’s done since returning to Washington, Ensign said he has talked to other senators and has “been getting back to work for the people of Nevada.”
Ensign was greeted warmly by his Republican colleagues when he walked  on to the Senate floor.

Under the watch of Senate reporters, GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (Ky.) and GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) made pointed displays of shaking Ensign’s hand and grasping his shoulder. The senator retreated to his desk, sitting next to Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPaul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare MORE (Okla.), his D.C. housemate, for an extended conversation.

Several Democrats also walked over to express a private greeting, including Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (N.Y.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill welcomes ninth grandson in a row Dem group launches M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities MORE (Mo.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Mueller indictment reveals sophisticated Russian manipulation effort GOP cautious, Dems strident in reaction to new indictments MORE (Va.) and John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE (Mass.)