A report in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday accuses Missouri House Speaker John Diehl (R) of conducting “sexually charged” texts with an intern.
Diehl, 49, is described as “arguably the state’s most influential lawmaker” and as married with three children.
The exchanges reportedly include Diehl telling the unnamed intern, “God I want you right now,” and her replying, “I wish you could have me right now.”
“In another exchange, she sends a picture of herself in a bikini and Diehl responds: ‘Damn girl … I want to see more,'” according to The Star’s Jason Hancock.
The Missouri newspaper reported that Diehl declined to comment and the intern, through an attorney, denied that the text messages were real.
Business Insider also reached out to Diehl’s office for comment. He is reportedly expected to release a statement Wednesday.
Despite the attorney’s denial, Hancock’s sources casted doubt on the claim that the texts were not genuine. Among other things, she allegedly “told confidants that she had an ongoing relationship with Diehl.”
“Multiple sources helped The Star confirm that the screenshots of the texts, which show Diehl’s business mobile phone 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 recognised the language and tone of the conversations from their own text exchanges with him,” Hancock wrote.
Additionally, The Star reported that Missouri Southern State University’s Capitol internship program, which the young woman attended, abruptly shut down due to an “unspecified incident.”
“This is the first time we have pulled all the interns,” Richard Miller, a dean at the school, told the paper. “Usually, when something happens, it is a problem with the interns themselves, but that was not the situation this year.”
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