Update: Diehl issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon admitting to the affair, but not offering to step down. Here's the full statement:
"I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down. I apologize for the poor judgment I displayed that put me and those closest to me in this situation. I also regret that the woman has been dragged into this situation. The buck stops here. I ask for forgiveness. I will begin immediately working to restore the trust of those closest to me, and getting back to the important work that is required in the final days of session."
Original post follows....
The Kansas City Star ran an exclusive this morning, reporting that Republican House Speaker John Diehl exchanged some sexy texts with a female intern. The woman was a freshman at Missouri Southern State University living in Jefferson City as a part of the school's Missouri Capitol internship program.
Which has since been cancelled! And no one will say why, according to the paper.
Diehl apparently agreed to speak with the paper, then cancelled the interview. Still, he produced cell phone records from two phones showing he only exchanged six texts with the woman. However, the Star says the texts came from Apple iMessage -- and that such messages wouldn't show up on cell phone records.
The intern, who the paper has not named, denied the texts were real, but the Star says they spoke to her confidantes who confirmed she was in a relationship with Diehl.
From the paper:
Multiple sources helped The Star confirm that the screenshots of the texts, which show Diehl's business cellphone number, originated from the intern's smartphone. The text conversations also included photographs of each of them. And others who know Diehl well said they recognized the language and tone of the conversations from their own text exchanges with him.
Here is a snippet of the texts:
Her: "You better take care of me."
Diehl: "Like how?"
Her: "I'll bet you'll figure it out."
Diehl: "I dunno. You have always been disappointed;)"
Her: "I just have high expectations, I guess. Thus far, you've done pretty well (an emoji blows a kiss)"
Diehl: ":). I kinda want to hear what you are expecting"
Then, shortly after, he types: "You will be in good hands :)"
Yes, Diehl is married with kids. More as we learn it.
Update: The calls for Diehl's resignation have begun. District 83 Representative Gina Mitten is circulating a petition which calls of a vote for the removal of Diehl "pending a full investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct with a freshman intern during the 2015 session":
And the media is being locked out and watching the meltdown from outside:
Since when is the House allowed to lock the media out? #MOLeg— Steven Anthony (@scanthony14) May 13, 2015
Email feedback or tips to the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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