President says Foley conduct was disgusting, supports Hastert

Wednesday, October 11th 2006, 12:39 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush on Wednesday called ex-Rep. Mark Foley's approaches to House male pages ``disgusting'' and backed Speaker Dennis Hastert's efforts to learn how officials handled the problem.

Bush's remarks at a White House news conference came Peggy Sampson, the supervisor of the page program, was questioned for less than two hours before the House ethics committee. The panel is not only investigating Foley's inappropriate and sometimes salacious electronic messages to former pages, but whether House officials covered up Foley's come-ons.

Sampson, who supervises the unique program that has allowed high schoolers to attend classes in the congressional page school, would not comment to reporters after the closed session. The pages are sponsored by members of Congress and work for legislators as errand-runners.

Asked about the scandal said, Bush said, ``This is disgusting behavior when a member of Congress betrays the trust of the Congress and the family that sent a young page to serve.''

He defended Hastert, who said he first learned of the approaches in late September.

``I think the speaker's strong statements have made it clear to not only the party ... but to the country that he wants to find out the facts,'' Bush said. ``Denny is very credible as far as I'm concerned. He's done a fine job as speaker.''