Embattled Missouri Gov: ‘I’m Staying,’ Was No Violence Or Blackmail In Affair

speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City.
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Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) insisted to the Associated Press Saturday that there was “no blackmail” and “no violence” involved in his months-long extramarital affair with his former hairdresser.

“This was a consensual relationship,” Greitens told the AP in his first interview since the allegations surfaced. “There was no blackmail, there was no violence, there was no threat of violence, there was no threat of blackmail, there was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. All of those things are false.”

The Missouri Republican did not directly say “yes” or “no” when asked if he tied the woman to a piece of exercise equipment in his basement and took a partly nude photograph of her without her consent, according to the AP.

He had a firmer response to allegations that he once slapped her as TPM and other outlets have reported: “Absolutely not.”

As he has throughout the week, Greitens insisted he would remain in office despite calls for his resignation from a handful of Republican state lawmakers, telling the publication, “I’m staying. I’m staying.”

He is under investigation by the St. Louis Circuit Court Attorney for the various allegations against him. CNN reported Saturday that the FBI has also opened an inquiry into Greitens.

Asked about CNN’s report, Greitens said neither he nor his attorneys have been contacted by the FBI about any issue.

“As far as my conduct, there is nothing to investigate,” he claimed.