Dem senator denies report claiming he lied about abusing his wife
© Greg Nash

Delaware Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths MORE (D) issued a strong denial of a Free Beacon report claiming that he was dishonest and attempted to hide the fact that he struck his then-wife during a heated argument several decades ago.

In a statement obtained by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Carper said he never lied about the incident during his 1982 bid for the House. Carper served as a representative for Delaware between 1983 to 1993, and as governor from 1993 to 2001, when he was elected to the Senate.

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"Any claim that I lied or attempted to hide my behavior is false," Carper said. "I am a man who has made his share of mistakes, but I am not and never have been one who abuses his wife and children."

Carper admitted in a 1998 interview with a local Delaware journalist that he slapped his wife once during a heated argument after previously denying a New York Post article in 1982 that claimed he hit her "so hard he gave her a black eye" and that his wife's two children from a previous relationship "were slapped around and bruised by Carper for doing such things as leaving the family dog on the bed."

"Let me say clearly and categorically that the implications in that story are without basis in fact," said Carper, who was running for the House at the time.

In his statement Thursday, Carper said the accusations in the 1982 New York Post story were inaccurate, but he did admit to slapping his wife.

"In 1982, during my first campaign for Congress, I was falsely accused of beating my wife and physically abusing my stepchildren," Carper said. "I defended myself with the truth."

"That said," Carper goes on to say, "I have made many mistakes in my life and have always been willing to admit them. One of those mistakes took place 37 years ago when I slapped my then-wife, Diane, during a heated argument."

"It was wrong. I regretted it then, and I still do today," he said.