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Published: Thursday, 8/30/2007

Arresting officer accused senator of lying after men's room arrest

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -The officer who arrested Sen. Larry Craig in a police undercover operation at an airport men's room accused the senator of lying to him during an interrogation afterward, according to an audiotape of the arrest.

On the tape, released today by the Minneapolis Airport Police, the Idaho Republican senator, in turn, accuses the officer of soliciting him for sex.

"I'm not gay. I don't do these kinds of things," Craig told Sgt. Dave Karsnia minutes after the two men met in a men's room at the airport on June 11.

"You shouldn't be out to entrap people," Craig told the officer. "I don't want you to take me to jail."

Karsnia replied that Craig wouldn't be going to jail as long as he cooperates.

At one point during the interrogation, the officer told Craig: "You're not being truthful with me. I'm kind of disappointed in you, senator."

Meanwhile, more of Craig's Republican colleagues moved away from him Thursday in the wake of his guilty plea earlier this month to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in the undercover police operation aimed at sex solicitors.

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who chairs the GOP's senatorial campaign committee, stopped short of calling on Craig to resign, but suggested strongly that he should.

"I wouldn't put myself hopefully in that kind of position, but if I was in a position like that, that's what I would do," Ensign told The Associated Press in his home state. "He's going to have to answer that for himself."

Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, each turned over to charity $2,500 campaign donations they had received from Craig's political action committee. Coleman and Collins both face potentially tough faces for re-election next year.

Coleman and several other Republicans have called for Craig to resign his seat in the Senate. Craig already has agreed to a request by Republican leaders to give up his ranking status on the Veterans Affairs Committee and apppropriations subcommittees.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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