Local news in Chicago is literally camped outside of his house. I'm trying to grab some video and get it up on YouTube, this is comical. "Fat Hastert" (think "Austin Powers") is in trouble, it is too damned funny.
Hastert dodges Foley heat, denies report of repeated warnings
By Rick Pearson and Mike Dorning
Tribune staff reporters
Published October 4, 2006, 10:26 PM CDT
WASHINGTON -- A defiant House Speaker Dennis Hastert fought Wednesday to hold on to his leadership post while fractures appeared among his lieutenants and a former senior aide to Mark Foley said he repeatedly had warned Hastert's top aide about Foley's inappropriate behavior toward underage pages more than two years ago.
In an interview with the Tribune on Wednesday night, Hastert said that he had no thoughts of resigning and he blamed ABC News and Democratic operatives for the mushrooming scandal that threatens his tenure as speaker and Republicans' hold on power in the House.
"No. Look, I've talked to our members," Hastert said. "Our members are supportive. I think that is exactly what our opponents would like to have happen—that I'd fold my tent and others would fold our tent and they would sweep the House."
When asked about a groundswell of discontent among the GOP's conservative base over his handling of the issue, Hastert said: "I think the base has to realize after awhile, who knew about it? Who knew what, when? When the base finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be happy. The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros."
He went on to suggest that operatives aligned with former President Bill Clinton knew about the allegations and were perhaps behind the disclosures in the closing weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, but he offered no hard proof.
"All I know is what I hear and what I see," the speaker said. "I saw Bill Clinton's adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along. If somebody had this info, when they had it, we could have dealt with it then."
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