Interviewed by Rachel Maddow last night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that what her staff was told last year about then-Rep. Eric Massa did not “even come close to any kind of an allegation.”
She said the conversation, reportedly between Massa’s chief of staff and a Pelosi staffer, “repeated something that had been in the newspaper the day before.”
That’s a reference to the October article in the Hornell Evening Tribune that noted that Massa lived with five of his staff members in a small Washington townhouse. The Pelosi staffer was also reportedly told about an incident when Massa took a young Rep. Barney Frank staffer to dinner, and about Massa’s use of inappropriate language with his staff.
Pelosi said that her office heard in February — the same time as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer — about allegations against Massa, reportedly of sexual harassment.
“Any report to our office was in February that there was an allegation against him and at the same time that it was referred to the ethics committee and that was the appropriate route,” she said
TPMmuckraker’s timeline of what Dem leaders were told about Massa is here.
Here’s the exchange; video is below:
Maddow: In terms of how the allegations were handled, when was your office first told about concerns about his behavior?
Pelosi: Well, any report to our office was in February that there was an allegation against him and at the same time that it was referred to the ethics committee and that was the appropriate route.
I’m now finding out that there had been a conversation earlier but it had nothing to do to — to even come close to any kind of an allegation. It was repeated something that had been in the newspaper the day before.
But in terms of anything that is worthy of the attention of the ethics committee, that was in February when it was reported to the ethics committee.