Former Democratic Rep. Eric Massa's charge that Democratsbecause he opposed their health care legislation is "ridiculous" a White House spokesperson said this morning.
Massa's resignation from his New York seat took effect yesterday afternoon. He announced the resignation last week amid an ethics investigation into sexual harassment charges against him, but he said on a radio show over the weekend that, "House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they've gotten rid of me and it will pass." He also blasted White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, calling him "son of the devil's spawn" and accusing him of hostilely whipping votes in the congressional gym showers
"I think this whole story is ridiculous. I think the latest excuse is silly and ridiculous," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on ABC's "Good Morning America" today. "We're focused not on crazy allegations but instead on making the system work for the American people rather than work for insurance companies."
In spite of the sexual harassment charges against Massa, conservative pundits have trumpeted his conspiracy theory pinning his departure from Congress on Democratic leadership. He will be a guest for the full hour on Glenn Beck's TV show on Fox News this afternoon.
Update 11:45 a.m. ET: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has also slammed Massa's claims this morning, calling them "absurd."
Hoyer said Massa's charges that he was forced out in order to pass health care reform were "absolutely untrue."