WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Trey Radel answered your questions in a one-on-one interview with WINK News today. Radel got back to the Capitol yesterday evening, after finishing his stint in rehab and pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
There were no prepared statements or calculated answers. Congressman Radel opened up today, even tearing up at one point when talking about his family. He referenced his family 17 times in 15 minutes.
This was his first sit-down interview since leaving rehab and returning to Washington, D.C. and there were no restrictions on what questions we could ask him.
WINK News: Can people trust you?
Congressman Radel: Yes. However, I understand the work that's gonna take. I will take this a day at a time, to rebuild this trust. I know what I've done, and I will work hard to do so every single day."
WINK News: You've given two very public addresses back in Southwest Florida. You had to speak in front of GOP members today. Are you at all embarrassed?
Congressman Radel: Yeah, this [tears up] this embarrassing. [pause] I've dragged my family through a lot and uh, I have made a real conscious effort to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I've caused a lot of pain.
Congressman Radel: Over the past few weeks [tears up] the time that I've had with my wife and my son, uh, it, sorry it, uh, it feels like I've gotten to really know my little guy and my wife and really reconnect with them in a great way. When I am able to prioritize and strike that balance that I've needed for so long in life. I take this one day at a time...And in doing so, regardless of being a little emotional right now, it feels really good, feels really good to be with my family. [Stops to wipe tears]
The Congressman never answered specifically when his problems with drugs and alcohol started, though he was asked several times during our interview. He said he will continue treatment in Washington, D.C.
At least one Republican officially kicked off a campaign for Radel's seat this week, and many have called for his resignation.