WASHINGTON--Well, this won't help put all this chatter about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to rest--a story about Emanuel, naked, razzing a lawmaker in the House gym for not backing President Obama's budget. That's from departing Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) who is not resigning from his House seat quietly. He is trying to tackle Emanuel on his way out the door.
Massa, from upstate New York, is quitting Congress, he said at first because of cancer. Then news came out he may be facing ethics charges about making inappropriate remarks to a male staffer. Then, in radio show, he said House leaders forced him out because of his lack of support for health care.
Emanuel is a former Chicago congressman, and all former House members retain rights to use the House gym. Emanuel is a regular for early morning work-outs.
"I'm sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't gonna vote for the president's budget," Massa said. "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? ... It's ridiculous."
He added, "By the way, what the heck is he doing in the congressional gym? He goes there to intimidate members of Congress."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "I think this whole story is ridiculous. I think the latest excuse is silly and ridiculous. ... We're focused not on crazy allegations, but instead of making this system work for the American people, rather than work for insurance companies."
This won't go away soon. Massa is booked on Larry King and Glenn Beck.