Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais now says he knew his patient mistress* wasn't pregnant when he pressured her to get an abortion, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.
Yesterday morning, DesJarlais made his first public comments about a transcript revealed earlier this week that shows the pro-life congressman urging an unnamed woman, who was once his patient, to get an abortion. In an interview with Ralph Bristol on 99.7 WTN, DesJarlais said that there was "no pregnancy and no abortion."
This afternoon, Andy Sher reports that DesJarlais is expanding on that explanation.
From the TFP, after the jump:
“There was no pregnancy and there was no abortion,” the 4th Congressional District representative told the Times Free Press today.
DesJarlais, a freshman lawmaker who opposes abortion, is battling a controversy over a transcript of a recorded conversation in which he presses the unnamed woman to get an abortion.
“I was attempting to use strong language to get her to tell me the truth,” said DesJarlais, who added that he didn’t record the conversation and had no idea it was being recorded.
You may have noticed an asterisk attached to the word "mistress" above. That's because Sher also reports that DesJarlais says he and his now ex-wife signed an agreement allowing each to see other people. As a result, he takes issue with the words "mistress" and "affair" being used in coverage of the story.
Earlier today, a fundraising item from the DesJarlais campaign described the revelations as "false, personal attacks." I called the campaign to inquire about what exactly was false about reports on a transcript that DesJarlais had not yet disputed. I've not yet heard back. But if DesJarlais is now claiming that he was contractually allowed to sleep with other women, and that he was only pressuring a former patient of his to get an abortion as part of a sting-like operation meant to get the truth out of her, then perhaps that's the answer.