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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.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
Lincoln28031
Leflore27736
Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
Panola843
Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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