The newly-elected Republican House Speaker for Missouri faced calls for his job after the publication of messages allegedly showing his “sexually charged relationship” with an 18-year-old college freshman interning for him, KTVI-TV reported on Wednesday.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down,” state Rep. John Diehl said in a statement. “I apologize for the poor judgment I displayed that put me and those closest to me in this situation.”
The Kansas City Star published the purported text exchanges between Diehl, who is married, and the woman, a student at Missouri Southern State University.
One exchange takes place after the intern sent the congressman a picture of herself wearing a bikini.
“Laying in bed looking at your pic,” he writes, to which she responds, “Mmmmm why can’t I be there.”
Later he tells her, “I am so distracted right now,” then, “You would be in trouble if you were here.”
Screenshots of the messages quickly circulated online, as seen below:
Sifting through the text messages sent between Mo. House Speaker John Diehl and the unidentified intern… pic.twitter.com/ZtVxVC4Z3xADVERTISEMENT
— Mark J. Zinn (@MarkJZinn) May 13, 2015
The Star reported that Diehl backed out of a planned May 1 interview, before producing a set of six text messages through his office he said showed no “significant” exchanges with the intern. However, the newspaper cited multiple sources confirming that Diehl used his business phone to communicate with the intern.
An attorney hired by the unidentified woman said the messages published by the Star were not real. But she has also allegedly told friends she was in the midst of a relationship with Diehl.
Her attorney said in a statement that she “requests the media respect her privacy. She has provided all the information she intends to give on the matter, and will be issuing no further comment. [She] is not interested in being at the center of any political debate concerning her internship or the workings of the state Capitol.”
The revelation of the messages follows the university’s sudden decision to end its internship program at the Missouri state Capitol. Richard Miller, who leads the college’s school of arts and sciences, cited “an unspecified incident” as the impetus for pulling four interns out of their assignments there.
Missouri Daily News reported that state Democrats are gathering signatures for a motion to recall Diehl if he does not vacate his position. However, Diehl said late Wednesday night that he intends to continue serving as House Speaker.
A picture of the petition, as posted online, can be seen below:
— Steven Anthony (@scanthony14) May 13, 2015
Watch KTVI’s report, as aired on Wednesday, below.
Former Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris flees the US as he faces two dozen lawsuits
Facing more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, former "Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Clayton Morris has reportedly fled the United States, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Morris, who previously resided in a $1.4 million home in New Jersey, moved his family to a coastal resort town in Portugal, the newspaper reported, citing a Facebook post from his wife.
Morris's wife and business partner, former MSNBC anchor Natali Morris, told the IndyStar that she and her husband plan to continue fighting the lawsuits from abroad.
Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments
If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.
And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.
His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:
UK prime minister hopefuls slam Trump tweets — but refuse to call them racist
The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both condemned on Monday US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen as "totally offensive" and "totally unacceptable".
But front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to call the tweets racist when pressed to do so during their last debate before next week's announcement of who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.
May's spokesman had earlier said that the outgoing leader's view was that Trump's comments were "completely unacceptable".
On Monday Trump doubled down on a series of his tweets from the day before urging the four congresswomen of colour to "go back" to the countries they came from.