National Political Editor for The Star News Network Neil W. McCabe Discusses the Alleged Smear Campaign of Missouri Senate Hopeful Eric Greitens

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s national political editor Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss the alleged smear campaign spearheaded by Karl Rove and former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ ex-wife Sheena Greitens in effort to stifle the Conservative Senate hopeful.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by the very best Washington correspondent in the country, national political editor for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, bronze medal recipient, and Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve. We welcome Neil W. McCabe to our microphones.

McCabe: As you were, gentleman; I’ll be in the area all day.

Leahy: All right. Now, Neil, we are seeing a struggle for the soul of the Republican Party going on. You were right there smack-dab in the middle of it yesterday, on the steps of the Washington, DC, federal courthouse.

And the struggle goes between sort of the establishment Karl Rove-Mitch McConnell crowd, and the very much MAGA crowd, the Donald Trump crowd. Tell us the details of this very interesting press conference that you attended yesterday and reported on.

McCabe: It was interesting because Eric Greitens, of course, was a Navy SEAL, and he gave a very touted, direct, commencement address at Tufts University almost 10 years ago. And he really became sort of a media hero. And he ran for governor.

Leahy: Governor of Missouri, the Show-Me State.

McCabe: And that’s when the Left started going after him. And I think that he had some personal struggles that ended in his resignation. He sort of fixed himself and he’s running for Senate as a hardcore Trump conservative.

And this is the nub. The Republican leadership, for the last 80 years, has made it a point to block conservatives from getting safe House and Senate seats. They want moderates in the safe seats and they want the Conservatives to be in the dangerous sort of purple seats.

Leahy: The Democrats do the exact opposite, don’t they?

McCabe: Oh, exactly. They want their most progressives in the safe seats because that allows them to take the extreme positions and give cover for others, and sort of move the debate to the Left.

You want a conservative guy in a safe seat, so he can make that speech and he can take that vote and he can sort of lead the others. That’s a problem, because Missouri is a relatively safe Republican state.

And so this is the problem: Greitens looks like he’s going to win. And so out of the blue, his ex-wife comes forward with an affidavit that was notarized on March 14th saying that he was abusive, and he was a dangerous bad guy, and he has no business being with my children, et cetera.

The problem is she signed an affidavit that she swore in May of 2020 in the course of her divorce where she said, I have told the court everything material to my family and the dissolution of this marriage. And so that closes the books. That allows everyone to go on with their lives.

Leahy: Where did this new charge come from?

McCabe: This is the thing: Who knows? What Greitens’ lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said at the press conference yesterday is that Karl Rove is the one who helped her craft this second affidavit.

Leahy: What? Karl Rove?

McCabe: Karl Rove.

Leahy: I didn’t know he was a marital attorney.

McCabe: Yes. And what he did, and if it’s true that he created this mess, you can’t have two conflicting affidavits. If you have two affidavits that you swore out and they disagree with each other, then one of them is wrong.

And if one of them is wrong, that’s perjury. That means that Mrs. Greitens, the ex-wife, she’s now on the hook for a perjury charge.

Leahy: Is that what the attorney said at this press conference? What did the attorney specifically ask for at this press conference? And by the way, we want to hear more about who was there and what they did. Go ahead.

McCabe: Okay. At the press conference, what [Parlatore] said was he had evidence that Karl Rove worked with her around the time that she was putting this together. And Karl Rove has had conversations with people before her second affidavit was filed.

He had full knowledge of it. And so what he’s asked for is he has filed a subpoena yesterday in Boone County, Missouri, asking for all of Karl Rove’s phone records and the … phone records of an operative named Austin Chambers and another woman who’s a former Greitens staffer, and also the ex-wife’s phone records. And then basically they’re going to find out who was talking to who.

Leahy: Well, this is kind of messy. And of course, Greitens had obviously a troubled personal relationship with his now-former wife. That’s quite clear. But why is Karl Rove jumping into a messy divorce?

Carmichael: No, Michael …

Leahy: Let’s get Neil to respond to that first.

McCabe: The bottom line is that Karl Rove is an establishment Mandarin and he is trying to block conservatives. They don’t want conservatives in ascendancy, which is happening under Trump.

Carmichael: Here’s my take on this thing. The divorce is finalized, yes?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: Okay. So the affidavit that she filed with the court back in May, prior to the divorce, that affidavit is, to me, the legally binding affidavit.

If you come in and file an affidavit after the fact, after the divorce is over and all the agreements have been settled and you come in with this one, I can’t imagine that she couldn’t be arrested and indicted for perjury. I don’t know how there’s any other answer.

McCabe: This is the rules, and Parlatore talked about this. The ex-wife is a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, where Karl Rove lives. And she filed in Washington, D.C., for a change of venue so the jurisdiction for her custody and other family concerns would be moved to Austin.

And as an attachment to this simple motion, motion to change jurisdiction, she then included this affidavit where she basically torches her ex-husband as a husband and a father. And so it was completely ancillary to changing of jurisdiction. It was just an excuse to get something into the public dialogue.

Leahy: This is a kind of ugly, personal smear.

Carmichael: No, Michael, it’s so much more than that.

Leahy: Tell me.

Carmichael: This is an attack, by the way that Neil is describing it, a political attack. This is not a personal attack.

McCabe: Absolutely.

Carmichael: This is using a lie and using the former wife to attack somebody because you disagree with their politics. This is so much more heinous. If Karl Rove is involved in this, shame on him.

And he needs to be canceled from all of his stuff, because this is done in the back rooms and under the gutters. If he’s not going to man up and attack him straight-up, and instead he’s going to try to convince an ex-wife who’s a college professor, to lie, that’s just disgusting.

This isn’t an attack on him personally. We have no idea. We have to believe that the affidavit that she signed in May during the divorce proceedings is the accurate one. And she gave an affidavit in that and said, I’ve told everything.

And now she’s changing her story. And if she’s changing her story because Karl Rove has gotten to her and said, hey, let’s do it this way and slide this in, that’s despicable. That’s not a personal attack.

McCabe: That’s also against law, and perjury. You can’t coax someone into a lie.

Carmichael: Exactly.

McCabe: And the other problem is that if the second affidavit is true, what that means is that she deliberately allowed her children to be in a dangerous, crazy situation. Because in the divorce, Greitens had the majority of the time with his kids, even though it’s joint legal physical custody.

But he was the primary parent. And so what it means is that the first time she said, yeah, I know this guy is a monster, but I’m going to sign off on this, which questions her judgment as a parent.

Listen to the full interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
















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