Under fire from
leaders of his own party, Idaho U.S. senator Larry Craig
on Tuesday said the only thing he had done wrong was to
plead guilty after a complaint of lewd conduct in a
men's room. He declared, ''I am not gay. I never have
''I did nothing
wrong at the Minneapolis airport,'' he said at a news
conference in Boise with his wife, Suzanne, at his
news conference came as Senate Republican leaders in
Washington, D.C., called for an ethics committee review
into his involvement in a police sting operation this
summer in the airport men's room.
meantime, the leadership is examining other aspects of the
case to see if additional action is required,'' Sen.
Mitch McConnell and other top GOP lawmakers said in a
private group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington filed a complaint with the ethics committee,
seeking an investigation into whether Craig violated
Senate rules by engaging in disorderly conduct.
Craig entered his
plea several weeks after an undercover police officer
in the Minneapolis airport arrested him and issued a
complaint that said the three-term senator had engaged
in actions ''often used by persons communicating a
desire to engage in sexual conduct.''
incident occurred June 11. Craig signed his plea papers on
August 1, and word of the events surfaced Monday. The
senator issued a statement Monday night that said,
''In hindsight, I should have pled not guilty.''
He repeated that
assertion at the Idaho news conference. ''In June, I
overreacted and made a poor decision,'' he said. ''I chose
to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making
it go away.''
Craig was at
times defiant, at others apologetic.
''Please let me
apologize to my family, friends, and staff and fellow
Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho,'' he said. ''I did
nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I did
nothing wrong, and I regret the decision to plead
guilty and the sadness that decision has brought on my
wife, on my family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans.''
senator, who has represented Idaho in Congress for more
than a quarter century, is up for reelection next year. He
said he would announce next month whether he would run
Craig, who has
voted against same-sex marriage, finds his political
future in doubt in the wake of the charges, which have drawn
Craig, 62, has
faced rumors about his sexuality since the 1980s, but
allegations that he had engaged in gay sex have never been
substantiated. Craig has denied the assertions, which
he has called ridiculous. (Todd Dvorak, AP)