Congress Gasps When Rep. Elise Stefanik Cites Jim Jordan’s Wrestling Past In Speech

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tried to make the case for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as House speaker on Tuesday, but her comments caused some members of Congress to audibly gasp.

While nominating Jordan for the job, Stefanik claimed that he “is the voice of the American people who have felt voiceless for far too long. Whether as judiciary chair, conservative leader, or representative for his constituents in West Central Ohio, whether on the wrestling mat or in the committee room, Jim Jordan is strategic, scrappy, tough and principled.”

The “wrestling mat” comment may not have left the impression Stefanik intended.

When Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University between 1986 and 1994, he reportedly ignored molestation allegations against the team’s doctor, Richard Strauss.

Although Jordan has denied that he knew anything about the allegations, Mike DiSabato, a former wrestler and friend of Jordan’s, said in 2018 that the lawmaker “is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Another former OSU wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, told NBC News earlier this month that the congressman’s “hypocrisy is unbelievable.”

“He doesn’t deserve to be House speaker,” Yetts said. “He still has to answer for what happened to us.”

A 2019 report from the university found that Strauss, who died in 2005, committed nearly 1,500 sexual assaults on student-patients while he worked there.

You can see Stefanik’s reference to Jordan’s wrestling past in the video below.

Many people on X, formerly known as Twitter, had strong thoughts about the mention and whether Stefanik realized that Jordan’s wrestling history is not a selling point for many people.

Considering most crisis consultants, PR pros or spin doctors would probably not have recommended Stefanik reference Jordan’s wrestling past, one person wondered if it was actually intentional ― especially since he lost the first vote for the gavel.



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