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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: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5269106
DeSoto332627
Madison229756
Harrison215232
Rankin214628
Jackson199434
Jones177457
Forrest164053
Washington149232
Lauderdale132988
Lee123930
Neshoba119788
Lamar112112
Oktibbeha105435
Lowndes98932
Warren96427
Scott95517
Bolivar94832
Copiah91724
Panola91211
Sunflower90822
Lafayette88111
Holmes84747
Leflore84059
Pike83232
Grenada81320
Yazoo78611
Leake76825
Lincoln74540
Pontotoc7377
Wayne73321
Simpson71227
Monroe70250
Coahoma66310
Tate65023
Marion60118
Covington58811
Adams58425
Marshall5718
Winston57115
George5475
Union53113
Newton51611
Attala49824
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48536
Walthall45318
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee41910
Claiborne40013
Smith38013
Calhoun3788
Jasper3768
Clay37013
Alcorn3574
Prentiss3426
Hancock33614
Tishomingo3204
Lawrence3135
Tippah31212
Yalobusha31210
Itawamba30710
Clarke30025
Montgomery2933
Tunica2786
Humphreys27111
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Quitman2251
Kemper22315
Perry2227
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis2026
Webster19912
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1523
Choctaw1274
Benton1250
Franklin1162
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11859225
Mobile9086191
Montgomery6249143
Madison501425
Tuscaloosa397463
Baldwin321023
Shelby305032
Marshall296630
Unassigned273453
Lee250540
Morgan222315
Etowah193026
DeKalb170113
Elmore160237
Calhoun15609
Walker147063
Houston131912
Dallas128823
Russell12331
St. Clair121712
Franklin119620
Limestone119613
Cullman114111
Colbert109312
Lauderdale107112
Autauga102420
Escambia97915
Talladega91813
Jackson8283
Chambers82138
Tallapoosa81478
Dale78520
Butler75235
Blount7363
Chilton7106
Coffee7095
Covington70920
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55224
Marion54224
Marengo52014
Clarke4869
Hale45926
Bullock43811
Perry4294
Winston42911
Wilcox4059
Monroe3914
Randolph38810
Bibb3743
Conecuh37310
Pickens3679
Sumter36118
Lawrence3100
Washington31011
Macon30913
Crenshaw2863
Choctaw27412
Henry2453
Cherokee2427
Greene24211
Geneva2320
Clay2175
Lamar1982
Fayette1745
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
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