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August 28, 2007

Sen. Craig's arrest prompts local paper to tell more

Posted by David Postman at 1:05 PM

The Idaho Statesman interviewed Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, in May about an allegation that he had sex with a man he had met in a restroom in a D.C. train station. Craig denied that, as well as other allegations the paper had discovered in reporting on long-standing rumors about the senator's private sexual life. The paper said today:

Until Monday, the Statesman had declined to run a story about Craig's sex life, because the paper didn't have enough corroborating evidence and because of the senator's steadfast denial.

News in Roll Call yesterday, though, about Craig's arrest and guilty plea for allegedly cruising for sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom, prompted the paper to run its story today. The Minneapolis incident happened a month after Craig's denial to the paper.

In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he'd never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages.

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable.

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