The Corner

Politics & Policy

America’s Worst Congressman Endorses Donald Trump

Yesterday, Tennessee representative Scott DesJarlais — quite possibly the worst person in Congress — endorsed Donald Trump. Watch the birds of a feather flock together:

DesJarlais said in a statement that he cast his vote early for Trump ahead of Tuesday’s primary in Tennessee.

“While there are certainly things that I admire and respect in each of the remaining candidates, I believe Donald Trump is the candidate best poised to make America great again. As such, I was proud to cast my vote for Mr. Trump and look forward to supporting the eventual Republican nominee whomever that might be,” DesJarlais said.

If you’ve heard of DesJarlais, it’s likely because he became somewhat notorious in 2012 when it was revealed that the allegedly stalwart “pro-life” politician had supported two of his ex-wife’s abortions, had a whopping six affairs, and was caught on tape apparently pressing one of his mistresses to terminate her pregnancy. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the details:

A decade before calling himself “a consistent supporter of pro-life values,” Tennessee physician and Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage, according to the congressman’s sworn testimony during his divorce trial.

Obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple’s 2001 trial transcript also confirms DesJarlais had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn. During one affair with a female patient, DesJarlais prescribed her drugs, gave her an $875 watch and bought her a plane ticket to Las Vegas, records show.

And lest you think that DesJarlais has since reformed to become a man of sterling character, trial transcripts revealed that he lied to his constituents about taping his former mistress:

The 679-page transcript reveals new details about DesJarlais’ interactions with a 24-year-old-patient, who claimed she became pregnant with DesJarlais’ child during a short fling in 2000 and that the doctor later pressed her to have an abortion.

DesJarlais, who is now 48 years old, admitted in court to pressuring the woman over the phone to get an abortion, but said the whole conversation was a scheme orchestrated by him and his wife — with whom he had reconciled — to get the 24-year-old to admit she was not really pregnant.

“She goes, ‘I will have an abortion. This will never be a problem of yours,’” DesJarlais said. “And I think that she was trying to get me to pay her money and I refused to because there was no proof of the pregnancy.”

Under oath, DesJarlais said he and his wife recorded his phone conversation with the woman “to find out whether the girl was telling the truth or not.”

That directly contradicts the congressman’s campaign Facebook page, where he told supporters the phone conversation “was recorded without my knowledge.”

“ . . . [The] media wrongly reported that I recorded the conversation myself,” DesJarlais wrote in the Oct. 12 note that was “liked” by 521 people. “I was recorded unknowingly and without my consent.”

DesJarlais has a primary challenger — Grant Starett, a stalwart conservative whom I’ve known since his days as a student at Vanderbilt Law School — so hopefully he won’t have a chance to work with a hypothetical President Trump. But if DesJarlais and Trump do meet, they can certainly swap stories of past adulterous exploits.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Grand Old Party.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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