Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is in 'serious' danger of losing his job

On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KMOV ran a report detailing an extramarital affair involving Missouri Republican Go...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 8:08 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 8:08 PM

On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KMOV ran a report detailing an extramarital affair involving Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. Greitens released a statement acknowledging the affair but denying some of the more salacious allegations made by the woman's ex-husband. For more on the story -- and whether Greitens might be in danger of losing the office he was elected to in 2016 -- I reached out to Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio. Our conversation, conducted via email and lightly edited for flow, is below.

Cillizza: Catch us up in where the allegations stand with Governor Greitens. And, what has he admitted to/denied?

Rosenbaum: Soon after Greitens made his State of the State address on Wednesday, a St. Louis television station aired a report detailing how the GOP governor had an extramarital affair before he officially announced his statewide office bid in 2015. The report featured an interview with the woman's ex-husband, who was granted anonymity. It also featured a recording of the woman where she said Greitens took a compromising photo to prevent her from revealing the affair. In a statement, Greitens admitted to having an affair. But his attorney is forcefully denying the allegations that Greitens blackmailed the woman, which is what a lot of Missouri political figures are focusing on at this point in time.

Cillizza: Did this come totally out of nowhere? He just ran a campaign in 2016. Was there any talk about this sort of stuff then?

Rosenbaum: There had been rumors about this particular allegation for weeks. Greitens made a lot of Republican and Democratic enemies since he launched his gubernatorial bid. One of his main talking points was that Jefferson City politicians were "corrupt" and he was going to be the guy to clean things up. And since taking office, he's made some public policy moves that have deeply upset the state's elected leaders -- such as shutting down a popular tax incentive to cultivate low-income housing. His campaign staffers set up a politically-active nonprofit that doesn't disclose its donors that attacked Republican senators, which is unprecedented. Needless to say, this is probably why not many people are sticking up for him at this early juncture.

Cillizza: What's the reaction been in the Republican party so far? Standing behind Greitens? Calling on him to resign?

Rosenbaum: It depends. Some of the Republicans Greitens attacked over the past year are pretty gleeful. For instance, Sen. Rob Schaaf, who Greitens' nonprofit attacked, tweeted out that you could "stick a fork" in Greitens. Republican Senate leadership issued a statement saying "Like many Missourians, we find these serious allegations shocking and concerning. As this situation is evolving, we expect the governor to be honest and forthright." But at least one Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis, told me that the governor should step aside.

Cillizza: Prior to this, how have been the reviews of Greitens first year in office?

Rosenbaum: Mixed. Some Republicans were happy that Greitens signed long-standing priorities into law, including making it harder for people to file employment discrimination lawsuits. He also signed "right to work," but that proposal is in limbo after unions got enough signatures to put it up for a statewide vote. Other GOP lawmakers feel that Greitens' propensity to attack other lawmakers got in the way of being able to accomplish more, especially since this is the first time in modern history Republicans controlled the governor's mansion and had large majorities in the General Assembly.

Cillizza: Finish this sentence: "Eric Greitens is in _________ trouble of losing his job." Now, explain.

Rosenbaum: "Serious."

Greitens is considered a rising star in national political circles. But as mentioned before, he doesn't have the robust support among elected political leaders to get a lot of back-up right now. Railing against "career politicians" can be an attractive message, but it can also have its downsides when those people have to pass your agenda.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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