[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/16/art.ensignfrown0616.gi.jpg caption="Sen. John Ensign apologized to his fellow Republicans on Tuesday – less than one week after admitting to an affair with a staff member."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than a week after admitting to an affair with a staff member, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, apologized to his Republican colleagues for his actions, which have already caused him to step down from his party leadership post and could threaten his Senate career.
"He apologized to us and his family. He said he was going to try to work to regain the confidence of his family and his colleagues," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said after the weekly Republican policy lunch in the Capitol, during which Ensign stood to speak.
On Monday night, Ensign was greeted warmly when he returned to the Senate after several days' absence dealing with the fallout from the scandal. More than a dozen senators - Republicans and Democrats - hugged him, shook his hand, or patted him on the shoulder.
"We all recognize what a painful experience this has been for him and his family and others involved. I think we just appreciated him saying how sorry he was," Cornyn said.