Larry Craig said he was entrapped in a sex sting at an
airport men's room and was not aware of the bathroom's
reputation as a spot to cruise for gay sex. ''Well, I
certainly am now,'' Craig told NBC's Matt Lauer in an
interview that aired Tuesday night.
prior?'' Lauer asked.
''Not at all,''
Craig responded. ''I go to bathrooms to use bathrooms.''
Craig said it was
a ''tough call'' when he decided not to tell his wife
or children about the arrest.
''I didn't want
to embarrass my wife, my kids, Idaho, and my friends,''
Craig said. ''I should have told my wife. I should have told
my kids. And most importantly, I should have told
said that when her husband told her the story was about to
break, ''I felt like the floor was falling out from under
me. And I felt almost like I was going down a drain
for a few moments.''
three-term Republican, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct
in August after he was accused of soliciting sex in a
bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport in June.
After the matter
became public, Craig tried to withdraw his plea. But a
judge in Minnesota refused, saying Craig's plea ''was
accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, and...supported
by the evidence.'' On Monday, Craig appealed that
ruling to the Minnesota court of appeals.
''I hoped it
would go away,'' Craig said of his decision to plead guilty.
''I wanted to avoid a media storm.''
Craig, 62, says
he is not gay, and in the NBC interview, he and his wife
said their marriage is based on love. Asked by Lauer whether
theirs was a marriage of convenience to cover ''a gay
lifestyle,'' Suzanne Craig responded, ''I would never
do that.... That's almost like selling your soul for
says she believes her husband is not gay. ''I honestly
believe my husband has always been faithful to me in every
way,'' she said.
''I love this
woman very, very much,'' Craig said in the interview, taped
at the couple's home in suburban Eagle, Idaho. ''And the day
I found her I fell in love, deeply in love. And that's
lasted -- we're heading toward our 25th anniversary.''
discussed his relationship with Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney. Craig was Senate liaison for Romney's
campaign, a post he abandoned when the scandal became
known. Romney called Craig's conduct ''disappointing
and disgraceful'' and immediately dropped Craig when
the guilty plea was revealed.
''I was very
proud of my association with Mitt Romney,'' Craig said.
''And he not only threw me under his campaign bus, he backed
up and ran over me again.''
Craig, who had
initially said he planned to resign, reiterated that he
will not leave his Senate seat until his term expires in
January 2009. He has said he will not seek reelection.
Craig said he
will continue to pursue his legal options. (Matthew Daly,