WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in an emotional interview with The Washington Post, said he asked his House Republican colleagues on Wednesday morning for forgiveness following his recent guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge for cocaine possession.

“I’m thankful I had that opportunity, but I have a whole lot to do to make amends,” said Radel, who returned to Congress this week after a month of rehabilitation. “It felt good to talk with them. It felt good, it really did. I know there’s still a long way to go with my country and constituents, and especially with my family, but it felt good.”

Several House Republicans say most members received Radel sympathetically and that he was applauded after he finished his remarks.

“It was the Trey Radel apology tour,” said one House Republican. “We’ve all dealt with friends or families who have struggled with addiction, so we listened and offered encouragement.”

Radel, a 37-year-old freshman, was nearly at a loss for words when asked to describe the kind words and embraces from House Republicans. “It meant a lot to me,” he said, his eyes welling with tears. “I just have a lot of work to do.”

After the closed-door Republican conference meeting ended in the Capitol basement, Radel spent nearly 30 minutes huddling with friends, and he was one of the last of hundreds of Republicans to leave the meeting room.

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