Rep. Jim Jordan Goes After Accusers Who Say He Ignored Sexual Abuse of Students as a Coach: 'The Timing Is Suspect'

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), an ally of President Donald Trump and a frontrunner in the race to potentially replace Paul Ryan as a Republican leader in the House, went on the attack against his accusers Friday as he faces claims that he ignored sexual abuse while he was a college wrestling coach.

Former UFC champion Mark Coleman on Thursday became the fifth of Jordan's former athletes to come forward and say Jordan knew of the abuse allegedly committed by Dr. Richard Strauss at Ohio State University, where the congressman served as an assistant coach.

“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,” Coleman told the Wall Stree Journal. “I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”

Coleman's account is consistent with those of other former wrestlers who have come forward. But Jordan unequivocally denied the charges on Fox News Friday night.

"I think the timing is suspect," he told anchor Bret Baier. "When you think about how this whole story came together after the Rosenstein interview or hearing. With this whole talk about the speaker's race. but it is just not accurate. And as I said before, conversations in the locker room are a lot different than someone coming up to you and saying there was some kind of abuse. If there had been that, we would have dealt with it, the coach would have dealt with it."

"Did you hear it in the locker room?" Baier asked.

"No, no, no type of abuse. We did not hear that because if we had, we would have dealt with it," he said.

One of the former athletes, Mike DiSabato, said Strauss, who died in 2005, groped him dozens of times, and that Jordan knew about the behavior. Jordan took particular ire with Disabato in his Fox interview, noting that he was recently arrested and saying, "He has a vendetta against Ohio State, he is out to get our family."

But not all those making the accusations against Jordan appear to have animosity toward him, including former student Shawn Dailey. As NBC News reported: 

Calling Jordan “a close friend,” Dailey said he is a Republican and that he contributed to the powerful Ohio congressman’s first political campaign for state representative in 1994.

“What happened drove me out of the sport,” said Dailey, a married father of two who works as a fundraiser for an Ohio college. “So I was surprised to hear Jim say that he knew nothing about it."

“Jimmy’s a good guy,” Dailey added. “But to say that he had no knowledge of it, I would say that’s kind of hurtful.”

Watch the clip of Jordan below:

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