An Oregon Congressman who shocked his staffers by sending them pictures of himself posing in a tiger costume said Saturday he is in a good place.
He also said he doesn’t feel the need to disclose the mental health issues he is dealing with.
“There are personal things, even for a congressman,” he said. “I think it is appropriate to have some sphere of privacy about the specific diagnosis because I’m not the president of the United States with my finger on the nuclear trigger.”
The push for his resignation came after staffers complained to local newspapers in articles published last week that he had behaved strangely during his reelection campaign last fall, and had sent them a series of bizarre photos. Members of his campaign staff revealed they had tried to get him admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
While Wu didn’t deny the reports, he blamed his bizarre behavior on the stress of the campaign and his family life. He has two young children and was also dealing with the death of his father.
“I’ve been working through it and I’m on a good path,” he told Fox 12 on Saturday in an apparent attempt to try to rebuild his image.
Wu is scheduled to return to Washington in time for votes on Monday, the news station reported.
He also addressed rumors he had an alcohol abuse problem, saying he had never struggled with alcoholism. Last Tuesday, he admitted on ABC News that he had taken painkillers from a donor – a move he called a mistake.
“I think the important thing that Oregonians want to know is, did you seek help then, are you getting better and can you do the job?” he said. “And my answers are yes, I sought help then, I’ve continued to consult as needed for counseling for medication when needed and I’m in a very good place right now.”
Wu also hit back at reports his staffers had resigned because of his behavior, saying his office had an extremely low turnover rate.
“If my conduct last October contributed to those departures, I regret that and I apologize for that,” he said. “Perhaps I was a hard boss and I shouldn’t have been.”
Embarrassing photos and behavior aside, Wu said he planned to run again in 2012.
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