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Greitens: There’s no blackmail & # 39 ;, there’s no violence & # 39; in a matter | Regional

Updated at 2:41 pm

CITY OF JEFFERSON • In his first interview since recognizing an extramarital affair, the governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, said on Saturday that there was no "blackmail" "and" there was no threat of violence "by him in what he described as a" consensual relationship "of months with his former hairdresser.

Greitens told The Associated Press that he has no plans to resign as a result of the affair, despite calls to the step aside from several Republican and Democratic state legislators.

"I'll stay," he said twice to emphasize, adding about his relationship with his wife, staff and followers: "We are strong." [19659003] Greitens, 43, has been out of the public eye since shortly after delivering his State of the State address on January 10. Later that night, KMOV (Channel 4) reported that Greitens had an extramarital affair in 2015 as he prepared to run for governor.

The report included an audio reco of a conversation between a woman and her husband, secretly recorded by the husband, in which the woman said that Greitens had tied her hands and bandaged her, took a picture of her partially naked and He warned her to remain silent during a meeting at her home in St. Louis.

Greitens did not directly say "yes" or "no" when asked on Saturday if he had been tied and blindfolded and took a picture of the woman. But he firmly denied that he had tried to coerce the woman, or that he or anyone associated with him had paid him to be silent.

"This was a consensual relationship," Greitens said. "There was no blackmail, there was no violence, there was no threat of violence, there was no threat of blackmail, there was no threat to use a photograph to blackmail, all these things are false"

Greitens added: "The mistake I made was that I was engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman who was not my wife, that's a mistake that I'm very sorry for. "

The AP has not identified the woman because she did not agree to an interview.

The governor said he did not have other romantic or sexual relationships with any other person while he was married.

"I made a mistake with a woman," he said.

A former shipowner of SEAL, Rhodes Scholar, author and founder of a charity for veterans, Greitens took his first step in politics by opening an exploratory committee for governor in February 2015. The extra-marital relationship began around March and ended that fall, Greitens said without being more specific. He officially announced that he would run for governor in September 2015. He told the AP that he discussed and resolved the romance with his wife that same year.

Greitens emerged victorious in a crowded and chaotic Republican primary before defeating the state's attorney general, Democrat Chris Koster, in November 2016 to give Republicans control of the governor's mansion for the first time in eight years.

After news of the matter was heard this month, a lawyer for the ex-husband said his client told him that Greitens slapped the woman, and St. Louis District Attorney Kim Gardner said he was opening a criminal investigation into the various assertions about the actions of Greitens.

Asked on Saturday if he had ever slapped the woman, Greitens replied: "Absolutely not." [19659004] He said he had not been contacted by the circuit's prosecutor's office and that neither he nor his lawyers had been contacted by him. FBI "for this or any other matter."

"As for my behavior, there is nothing to investigate," Greitens said.

On Friday, CNN quoted sources as reporting that the FBI had recently opened an investigation into Greitens. CNN reported that Eli Karabell, 22, who said he had volunteered to help with the Greitens transition in December 2016, approached the news organization to say he had been interviewed by the FBI last November, although He did not offer details about what he said to the agents.

Greitens told the AP he does not know Karabell.

Greitens' spokesman, Parker Briden, said that Karabell was a "serial liar" who had called Briden several times "acting crazy", even claiming that he would donate millions to the governor if he could join him.

Amid the controversy over his adventure, Greitens postponed a state promotional tour scheduled last week for what he had pointed out in his State of the State address as "the boldest state tax reform." In America. "Instead, Greitens said he called almost every state legislator and also published a Facebook apology.Greitens said that" love and support have been tremendous throughout the state. "

Before becoming governor, Greitens wrote a book entitled "Resilience," which was a collection of letters to an old Navy SEAL friend about overcoming adversity, Greitens now finds himself in a similar position, and said he recently received a call from that friend to encourage him to stay there.

"I am very sure that God has a way of getting the good out of the difficulty. God has a way to help people in the midst of pain to emerge with wisdom, "said Greitens." God has a way to help him through suffering and, in fact, become stronger. "

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