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Officer accuses Craig of lying
Undercover cop calls senator dishonest on conduct in restroom

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 Thursday by the Minneapolis Airport Police, the Idaho Republican 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 cooperated.

The two men disagreed about virtually everything that had occurred minutes earlier, including whether there was a piece of paper on the floor of the stall and the meaning of the senator's hand gestures. At no time did Craig admit doing anything wrong, although weeks later he pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

'You're not being truthful with me,' Karsnia told Craig during the interrogation. 'I'm kind of disappointed in you, senator.'

Karsnia later told Craig he was 'sitting here lying to a police officer,' adding: 'I expect this from the guy we get out of the 'hood. I mean people vote for you. Unbelievable.'

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 in campaign donations they had received from Craig's political action committee. Coleman and Collins both face potentially tough races for re-election next year.

Coleman and several other Republicans - including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. - 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 Appropriations subcommittees.

Craig said Tuesday he had committed no wrongdoing and shouldn't have pleaded guilty. He said he had only recently retained a lawyer to advise him in the case, which threatens to write an ignominious end to a lifetime in public office.