Hoyer Joined With Minority Whip Cantor to Discuss the Allegations Surround Congressman Massa on NBC

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... the health care bill led to his fall. >> you end up bucking your party, you're out. >> reporter: and when pressed, massa could not name a specific democratic leader or a time and place when he was pushed to resign his office. he talked about some general pressure when his votes didn't line up with the white house, but he couldn't go any further. meredith? >> all right, kelly o'donnell, thank you. for more on the fallout over eric massa's resignation, we eric massa's resignation, we welcome in house minority whip eric cantor of virginia and house majority leader steny hoyer of maryland. congressmen, good morning to you both. >> good morning. >> congressman hoyer, if i could start with you. i want to ask you directly, was there ever any orchestrated effort by the democratic leadership to oust congressman massa? >> absolutely not, period. >> period. any pressure put on him at any time? >> no, absolutely not. >> was there ever any effort to keep him there? i mean, many people are investigated and they don't resign during an investigation. >> well, as you know, the facts are that one of his staffers called me on february 8th, on monday. my staff got a hold of me the next tuesday. we were out, got a hold of me the next day. i told them that they need to respond to this staffer, that he needed to immediately bring this to the attention of the ethics committee. these were serious allegations and needed to be dealt with, and i said further, if you don't make the complaint, i will. and within the next 48 hours, i was told that, in fact, that they had contacted the ethics committee, and that was confirmed. >> did you ever talk to congressman massa directly about these allegations? >> no, i did not. >> and why not? >> well, because i thought the ethics committee was the appropriate venue in which to have this matter quickly investigated and resolved, and in fact, of course, within three weeks, as you know, the congressman decided that the charges that were pending, or the situation that existed, was serious enough that he was going to resign from congress. initially, of course, he said that his cancer, which he had had, had reoccurred. obviously, a sad occasion. but then went on to say that there was going to be inappropriate behavior brought out and he thought it best to leave. and so, the situation was res res resolved within just a few weeks. >> there are reports now that the house ethics committee had heard about staffers complaining about him over a year ago. they're now hearing this. had you ever heard rumblings? >> no. >> never, prior to last week? >> no. the first i heard about -- not last week -- the first i heard about this was february 8th -- >> i'm sorry, february 8th. >> excuse me, my staff heard about it. we were not in session. we were on the presidents' day break. the next day, they tried to get a hold of me. i think they probably got a hold of me wednesday, which is when i said -- no, tuesday, i said get a hold of the staffer. they got a hold of the staffer on wednesday and indicated that he ought to make immediate complaints to the ethics committee so that they could address this matter immediately. it was a serious allegations that were being made and i thought they needed to be dealt with immediately. and of course, as you know, they were and the result was shortly thereafter mr. massa decided that he was going to resign from the congress. >> let me bring in congressman canter, if i can. some of the republicans have rallied around massa as an example of the democrats trying to ram through health care reform legislation. do you believe that he was pressured at all to leave congress? >> meredith, i think, like most of your viewers this morning, i think i'm a little taken aback and stunned by all of this, and i know that steny joins me in hoping that the ethics committee in congress looks into this adequately and can get to the bottom of all this. >> but again, to ask you directly, do you believe that he was pressured by the democratic leadership? >> meredith, i'm just getting the news like you are, so again, i don't know the facts of this at all. i know that the american people are sickened by all of this that has gone on, and i think that the best place for this to be resolved is in the ethics committee and let's get to the bottom of it. >> but for those republicans who have rallied around him, massa used him as sort of a spotlight on what they see as the democrats trying to foist health care reform on this country, do you feel they're making a mistake to use him? >> well, again, some may want to involve mr. massa or not. i think when we're talking about health care, meredith, we've got a bill that is going to affect every american, and there's no question that if the bill was a good bill, we'd have an up-or-down vote right now. and what we're talking about is a process that really is short-circuiting the rules, that will try and get a bill passed from a very, very tight vote, a very partisan vote. and frankly, i think that there is a better way that we can work together and accomplish something for health care reform. >> do you think that democrats -- >> meredith, can i interject? >> absolutely. >> first of all, let me say, i think there were some people who ...