Largent Tells Newspaper He Was Part of ‘Confrontation’ With Ensign
Former Rep. Steve Largent (Okla.), one of the leaders of the GOP’s 1990s conservative revolution, acknowledged Monday that he participated in a “confrontation— with Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) during which friends and colleagues urged the Nevadan to stop an affair with a campaign aide, the Tulsa World reported Monday night.Largent told the paper that while he and members of the “C Street Prayer House— where Ensign lived on Capitol Hill, used the confrontation, orchestrated by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), to push Ensign to stop the affair, no discussion of compensating her or her family was discussed. Coburn has repeatedly issued categorical denials that the meeting included discussion of payments to either Ensign’s mistress, Cynthia Hampton, or her husband Doug — who worked as a top aide in Ensign’s Senate office and was one of the Senator’s closest friends at the time.”I have never talked about it with John (Ensign). Never talked about it with anybody. Wasn’t aware that it took place,” Largent told the paper. Largent lived at the C Street house during his tenure in the House from 1994 to 2002, and he became friends with Ensign during that time. Largent said he was shocked by Ensign’s admission last week that his father and mother made a series of $12,000 payments to both the Hamptons and their children, totaling some $96,000.”I think learning of the money situation was a shock to everybody,” Largent said. Although most of his colleagues in the Senate have been keen to avoid discussing the matter, Republican operatives in Nevada have acknowledged the scandal could hurt Ensign’s political future, and at least one request for an investigation has been filed with the Senate Ethics Committee.