Sen. Lamar Alexander‘s (R-Tenn.) now ex-Chief of staff Ryan Loskarn led a pretty typical life for a 35-year-old gay GOP aide in Washington. He attended happy hours. For a good while he had a boyfriend. Sources tell The Mirror he was even going to be in the wedding party of NRSC Spokesman Brad Dayspring (who did not offer a comment as to whether Loskarn would still be part of the wedding party). Dayspring is engaged to Jake Tapper‘s CNN publicist Lauren Pratapas.
On Tuesday night, Loskarn was out partying at the Monocle with friends and journalists at a regular outing called “Slow News Tuesday.” The festivities began at 6 p.m. It was a “flacks and hacks” type of event with well-known reporters from major publications, press secretaries, aides and more. By 7 a.m. the next morning, the feds picked him up at his home on strong suspicion of possessing and distributing child porn. He has since been arrested. A bail hearing has been set for Monday.
Friends distraught over the news this week had hoped that the whole thing was a “barely legal” type of situation where the porn depicted young men just under the cutoff age. He was very close friends with people in the Capitol Hill community — high-level staffers and reporters — everyone who was close to him is in a state of shock and disbelief and they fear he may harm himself if he makes bail. For example, would he jump off a bridge? “To be clear, no one is defending it,” a source who preferred to remain anonymous told The Mirror. “You think you know someone. He was at [House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman] Michael Steel‘s wedding last year.” But as reports surfaced from the Department of Justice Thursday, the news involved far younger children of both genders and girls as young as 6. Friends are struggling with the news and whether he is still their friend. “Once you read that DOJ report, it’s just disgusting,” the source continued. “That’s what I have a hard time with.”
Loskarn was not open about his sexuality and rarely discussed it even with close friends. At one point he did fear being outed for being gay. “He never talked about it,” a source explained. “With a few folks, he did. We never had that conversation.”
The email invite for the Monocle outing reads: “We’re promoting the temporary cessation of over-the-phone/email relationships with a strictly off-the-record gathering of DC’s top-shelf communicators and journalists. Come get reacquainted with old friends and meet some like-minded folks.”
Well, not like-minded like that, but you know what they meant.