Texts Reveal Missouri House Speaker Was Intern’s ‘Frank Underwood’ [Update]

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FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2013 file photo, Rep. John Diehl Jr., R-Town and Country, calls for an end to debate during aspecial session at the Missouri State Capital  in Jefferson City, Mo. Republicans in Missouri's House hope to use their never-before-seen numbers to push small-business growth and support the agricultural industry, the chamber's newly nominated speaker said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
John Diehl, also known as Frank Underwood.Photo: Orlin Wagner/AP/Corbis

Update: A day after this story broke, Missouri House Speaker John Diehl resigned from the state legislature. “I have acknowledged making a serious error in judgment by sending the text messages,” he said in a statement. “It was wrong and I am truly sorry. Too often we hear leaders say they’re sorry but are unwilling to accept the consequences. I understand that, as a leader, I am responsible for my actions and I am willing to face the consequences.”

I was thinking abut what you said you wear to bed.”

Who texted it: Frank Underwood, or a state politician from Missouri? After today, those answers are unfortunately no longer mutually exclusive, thanks to a report from the Kansas City Star about sexting, power, emoji, and Milan.

The newspaper obtained texts reportedly sent between Missouri House Speaker John Diehl and a college freshman interning at the state Capitol. Shortly before these texts were found, Missouri Southern State University decided to end its 20-year-long legislative internship program more than a month early. Diehl declined to comment when the Star repeatedly called, and the intern told the newspaper that the text messages were not real — something contradicted by multiple sources. The Star posted a trove of text messages, some of which featured photos of Diehl on a trade mission with Governor Jay Nixon in Europe. He stood next to a car in Munich (“That suit and tie combo is sexy and you look great. I see a lot of work is happening”), and took a photo of a table in Milan (“My goodness, that’s even prettier! Has Jay been with you the whole time?”).

Diehl was listed as “Frank Underwood [smirk emoji]” in the intern’s phone, in case you had any difficulties coming up with awful things to think about this story after reading the above paragraphs or were just itching for a new opportunity to debate the veracity of House of Cards.