By Monique Garcia
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday that he was "deeply troubled" by an investigation into extramarital sexual encounters Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens had with a hairstylist, saying he agreed with calls for his fellow Republican to step down.
Rauner's comments came one day after a bipartisan legislative committee in Missouri released a report that described testimony from the woman in which she said Greitens initiated a physically aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter and threatened to distribute a partially nude photo of her if she spoke out.
On Thursday morning, the Democratic Governors Association criticized Rauner for failing to speak out earlier against Greitens. When previously asked about the allegations, Rauner said they were "very serious" but noted an investigation was underway.
Asked about the latest developments during a Thursday afternoon bill signing in his Capitol office, Rauner said he was "deeply troubled" by the inquiry's findings.
"Now there's been an investigation, and the investigation has brought forth some very distributing, terrible behavior, apparently," Rauner said. "And now Republicans as well as Democrats in Missouri have called for the governor to step down in the best interest of Missourians, and that seems like a reasonable request."
Asked if he agreed with those calls, Rauner said, "I agree with them."
Greitens previously appeared in a Rauner campaign ad that featured GOP governors from surrounding states mockingly thanking Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan for "raising Illinois taxes" and "helping create new jobs" in their states.
The spot began airing last fall after Rauner formally launched his re-election bid but was taken down in January shortly after Greitens issued a statement admitting to an extramarital affair in 2015, before he was governor.
In February, a local prosecutor indicted Greitens on felony invasion of privacy, accusing him of taking and transmitting a non-consensual photo of the woman. Greitens' lawyers have pushed back hard against the charge, accusing the prosecutor of "gross incompetence," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Following the release of Wednesday's report, Missouri lawmakers are considering disciplinary action against Greitens, including impeachment.
The Associated Press contributed.
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