Texts like "God I want you right now" and "Laying in bed looking at your pic," accompanied by smiling, winking emoticons, are exactly the types of messages you shouldn't be sending to a college intern if you're a state legislator. But Missouri House Speaker John Diehl didn't get that memo, according to text messages obtained by the Kansas City Star. The paper got its hands on the texts shortly after Missouri Southern State University suddenly and inexplicably shuttered its internship program with the state Capitol more than a month early. Although Diehl at first wouldn't comment on the missives that contained everything from "mundane chatter" to the "sexually suggestive," per the Star, the Republican issued a statement yesterday, just a few hours after the paper posted the story. "I take full responsibility for my actions and am truly sorry to those I let down," he said. "I also regret that the woman has been dragged into this situation."
"The woman" referred to by the married father of three at first told the newspaper the texts weren't authentic, but people she had reportedly confided in told the paper she mentioned a relationship with Diehl. However, the Star says proof includes photos of both parties in the texts, sources who helped confirm that screenshots of the texts (with Diehl's business number) came from the intern's phone, and people "who know Diehl well" recognizing his tone in the texts. To add to the political mystique, the intern apparently listed Diehl in her phone as "Frank Underwood," the dark House of Cards character, per New York—a comparison that Michael E. Miller isn't totally buying in his Washington Post piece. "The biggest difference between Diehl and Underwood … is simply that the Missouri politician got caught," he writes. And Diehl's public plea for forgiveness? "Said Frank Underwood: never," Miller adds. (Read about a bunch more political sex scandals here and here.)