Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' (R) sex scandal has clearly put his career in jeopardy. As regular readers know, the Republican governor concedes he had an extra-marital affair, which occurred the year before he launched his campaign for statewide office, but as part of the story, Greitens is also accused of trying to blackmail his former mistress to keep their relationship secret.
Indeed, though the governor denies this part of the story, there's an audio recording of the woman in question claiming Greitens took nude photographs of her, while she was blindfolded and her hands were tied, which was followed by an alleged verbal threat. (The recording has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News.)
The governor talked to the Associated Press over the weekend -- his first media interview since the scandal broke -- and while Greitens claims there was "no blackmail" and "no threat of violence" as part of his adulterous relationship, he wouldn't say whether he had bound, blindfolded, and taken a photo of the woman.
Yesterday, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, the Missourian was similarly evasive during a press conference.
Gov. Eric Greitens on Monday sidestepped one question asked repeatedly during a rare news conference: Did he take a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had had an affair?
The question came in various forms from various news outlets. After initially addressing the affair, he attempted to steer the reporters back to the state's $28.7 billion budget blueprint, the planned topic of the day.
Greitens has now repeatedly claimed there was "no blackmail" -- in other words, he's denying criminal wrongdoing -- while sidestepping more embarrassing aspects of the controversy. He said yesterday, for example, "There was no photograph for blackmail," which is obviously very different than saying, "There was no photograph."
And as a rule, once a governor faces questions about tying up a mistress, his career trajectory probably isn't headed in the right direction.