Massa accuses Emanuel, others of setting him up

New York Democrat, resigning from Congress today, calls White House chief of staff "son of the devil's spawn"

By Alex Koppelman
March 8, 2010 8:15PM (UTC)
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The last day that Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., spends in Congress will not be a quiet one.

Massa is leaving the House of Representatives Monday afternoon, after serving less than one full term, because of allegations that he sexually harassed a male staffer. Many congressman would try to head silently for the exit in a situation like that -- but apparently not Massa.


On Sunday, Massa told a radio station in New York that he's been railroaded out of office because he voted against the House healthcare reform bill last fall.

“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said,'they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots," Massa said. "I was set up for this from the very, very beginning."

He also specifically went after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a favorite target for liberals these days.


"Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn... He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote," Massa said.

Update: During the interview, Massa also gave his side of the story of the harassment allegations against him. The way he tells it, it sounds pretty innocent. Of course, that's the way he tells it. The fact that a complaint was made and that he ended up resigning from Congress because of it would suggest that maybe something more was going on -- we'll have to wait for more facts to come out.

But, via Roll Call, here's some of Massa's story:


"On New Year’s Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.

Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident.

"I said goodnight to the bridesmaid,” Massa continued. “I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.”

“One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.’ And then [I] tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2010 Elections Eric Massa Healthcare Reform Rahm Emanuel War Room