Democratic Congressman Eric Massa from New York resigned on Monday.
He says Democrats ran him out because he was against health care. Let me make this clear: My interview with Massa is not because he's on my side on health care; he wants single payer health care. We don't agree. In fact, we don't agree on pretty much anything.
He claims to have butted heads with Democrats several times and each time Rahm Emanuel tried to intimidate him into changing his mind.
Massa claims the Democrats pressured him into resigning. There were also threats of harassment investigations. He has since spoken out about the corrupt nature of Washington politics and how it's destroying the country.
That's Massa's side of the story. But is he credible?
Many are saying Massa is just out for revenge; that he's trying to deflect attention from a coming scandal. Look, I don't know the first thing about the congressman — he could be an angel or a complete dirt-bag and flying to Argentina on weekends to write poetry with his mistress or much, much worse. I have no idea. But I guarantee, if there is something that will come out, my interview will only speed it up. We'll know maybe even by the end of the day Wednesday if this guy has real skeletons in his closet.
And that's why I will recommend to him: The truth will set you free. Got something to say? Now is the time to say it. America loves the story of redemption, but they hate the story where they've been lied to.
Many people, on the left and the right, say that Massa's only on the show to save his career. If he's lying about what kind of person he is there won't be any career to ever save. But, to me, this story is not about him. Those stories will be written later and we'll ask him about him, but I'm not "60 Minutes."
This story is about Rahm Emanuel, unions, bribery, coercion and corruption. Because, is anyone saying that Emanuel is a kind, gentle soul or that unions aren't corrupting Washington with pressure and bribes?
I haven't heard anyone say that when they talk about Massa. They only talk about him and how bad it is for him. And it might be, but let's deal with the charges. Who's refuting what this man is saying? You may not think he's credible but if we capture a terrorist, don't we ask the terrorist about information on other terrorists? And don't we listen to that information and follow up on it?
This is a sitting member of Congress who had to resign making accusations against this White House. I don't know what the truth is, but we are going to sit down and try and find it.
So when watching the interview you need to ask these questions:
• Do I believe that what Massa says about corruption in Washington is true? If so, does it affect me?
• Do I believe he's telling the truth about himself? If not, does it affect me?
• What could his possible motivations be for making all of this up?
• If he were truly fighting for a clean-up of corruption and the allegations were only salty language, why would he resign?
So far the allegations range from using the "F word" to criminal activities. At this point we've got nothing but hearsay, whispers and rumors. I'm going to be asking pointed questions today. But should a man be expected to defend himself on whispers?
I told you last week about my grandfather: He was a great storyteller. You'll notice a pattern in all stories: There are three kinds of characters: heroes, villains and "there but for the grace of God go I."
You have to decide: Is he one of these three? Because this is quite a story.
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