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Lawmaker's Intentions Appear Clear In Exchanges

"sorry my mom walked in," a page wrote after an interruption.

"whta did she want"? Foley asked.

"to spend time with me . . . she just came in and sat down . . . apparently she doesnt see enough of me or something," he replied.

"thats a good mom," Foley said.

Such instant messages were the subject of Foley's own political efforts when he helped sponsor legislation to lower the threshold for law enforcement officers to go after online predators.

But in his own messages, Foley encouraged mutual masturbation, even when the boys protested that they had too much schoolwork.

"im doing homework," one wrote.

"better do you[r] homework . . . I am a bad influence," Foley wrote.

He fished for compliments on his looks, flattered them on theirs, frequently brought up the subject of sex, encouraged their attractions and frowned on girlfriends. He was impervious to the misgivings of his online chat mates.

"so . . . where does that leave us"? Foley asked once, after he seemed to encourage a sexual encounter, to no avail.

"i dunno . . . same as we are now," the boy replied, ". . . just saying that im not sure what im totaly comfortable with . . . we will still have fun."

Moreover, Foley appeared aware that he was behaving badly, chastising himself but unable to stop. It was that behavior that his former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, seemed to allude to when he said yesterday that he turned to the most senior House leadership officials to intervene when his own efforts to stop Foley's actions had failed.

"to be honest I am a little to interested in you," Foley said to one page, "so thats why I need to back off a little."

"ya slow things down a little im still young . . . like under 18 dont want to do anything illegal," the teenager cautioned.

"nothing will happen . . . just dreaming," Foley assured him. "i was good in SD."

"I am not a sicko," he concluded.

Yesterday, several Web sites said that bloggers had been able to learn the name of one of the two former pages because ABC News had briefly posted his screen name on its site.

"We always want to keep the identities of people involved in any kind of alleged sexual crimes confidential," ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said last night. "On Friday, there was a glitch in our posting, and it's possible that an actual, unredacted screen name was posted for an extremely short period of time. Obviously, it was fixed almost instantly."

Staff writer Howard Kurtz and staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.

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