Salacious, emoji-filled text messages leaked to the Kansas City Star appear to reveal a sexually-charged relationship between Missouri’s speaker of the house and a 19-year-old intern at the state capitol who apparently saw the powerful politico as her own personal “Frank Underwood.”
“God I want you right now,” Speaker John Diehl, a Republican, tells the unknown intern in the leaked texts. “Will have my way with you and leave you quivering.
At another time, Diehl, who has a wife and four sons, said he dreamed about seeing the intern naked.
Diehl: “Laying in bed looking at your pic 🙂
Intern: Mmmm why can’t I be there 🙂
Diehl: I was thinking abut what you said you wear to bed
Intern: Nothing 😉
Intern: Oh is that so? I’ll find out soon enough
Diehl: Ya think ?
The text messages were obtained by the Kansas City Star last month, shortly after an unspecified incident caused Missouri Southern State University to abruptly shut down an internship program a month early without explanation. The school hasn’t said what provoked the end of its intern program, but the newly-leaked texts suggest inappropriate contact between Diehl and the intern may have played a role.
Not every message is sexual, with Diehl sometimes complaining to the intern about mundane matters such as his dislike of public speaking and boring meetings.
Diehl: This is sooooo boring
Intern: Hahahah I second that. And some of these reps are stupid.
Diehl: They are …..
Intern: Ugh this needs to end. I need to be on a beach.
Diehl: I know. You going anywhere?
The Star reached out to Diehl for comment, but he declined to say anything before the story ran. His office turned over cell phone records to the Star which purport to show just a handful of text messages sent from Diehl to the intern. However, the Star says this attempted exoneration has a key flaw:
While they were presented as evidence that no significant text exchange with the intern occurred, they show only a log of conventional text messages.
Yet the texts obtained by The Star and presented last month to Diehl show conversations over Apple’s proprietary iMessage platform. Texts on iMessage wouldn’t show up on a cellphone record unless they were sent or received when no Wi-Fi or mobile Internet connection is available.
Neither Diehl nor his staff ever mentioned that he regularly uses iMessage to send texts until asked by The Star on Tuesday.
The intern, through an attorney, insisted to the Star that the text messages were fabricated, although the paper says it has confirmed their veracity through multiple sources, while also finding that the intern had told others she was in an ongoing relationship with Diehl.
In the pictures published by the Star, Diehl appears to have been assigned several different names by the intern. In some images, he is “John,” in others he is “SOTMHOR” (Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives), and in others the intern appears to have nicknamed him “Frank Underwood,” after the protagonist of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” In the show, Underwood has a sexual tryst with a much younger journalist.
Update: On Thursday afternoon, Diehl announced that he would be resigning from the Missouri legislature.
“Too often we hear leaders say they’re sorry but are unwilling to accept the consequences,” Diehl said in a statement. “I understand that, as a leader, I am responsible for my actions and I am willing to face the consequences.”
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