Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) was at work on Capitol Hill today despite the media firestorm that was unfolding around him.
According to parts of a transcript from a more-than-decade-old phone call published by the Huffington Post, DesJarlais, then a doctor, urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The woman was a patient of the conservative anti-abortion doctor-turned-lawmaker.
“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais says at one point. He also suggests heading to Atlanta to “solve” the issue.
“Well, we’ve got to do something soon,” he says. “And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?”
According to the report, it was DesJarlais who recorded the call in September of 2000. He defeated then-Rep. Lincoln Davis (D) in 2010, and details of his messy 2001 divorce came to light during that campaign.
The Congressman’s campaign released a statement in response to the transcript, calling it election-year gutter politics. The statement did not deny the call took place or the content of the transcript.
“Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation’s problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS News called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago,” the statement said.
DesJarlais is on Capitol Hill today attending the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing on the security failures in Benghazi, Libya, last month. Stay tuned for whether he answers any questions from the media, who will no doubt be looking to talk to him when it’s over.