Blackmail allegations threaten Greitens’ ability to govern, political future

Less than three months ago, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was starring at a Republican fundraiser in Iowa — shaking hands, cracking jokes and building buzz about his White House ambitions.

Now it isn’t clear if the rising Republican star’s political career will survive his second year in office.

He has admitted to an extramarital affair in 2015 and is under criminal investigation over allegations that he tried to blackmail the woman into silence by taking a nude photo of her against her will.

Greitens’ fellow Republicans in the legislature, many of whom have crossed swords with the governor in the past, aren’t rushing to his defense. And Democrats are openly calling for his resignation.

The thought of resignation hasn’t crossed his mind, several sources close to the governor’s office told The Star on Friday. Greitens vehemently denies the blackmail allegations and spent much of Thursday trying to reassure his Cabinet, his donors and Republican lawmakers that the worst of the storm had passed.

His attorney is calling the story a “political hit piece.”

But the damage the allegations have done to his ability to govern, as well as to his political ambitions, is hard to calculate.

Read more: Kansas City StarSt. Louis Post-Dispatch


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