COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The blogger and former aide to Gov. Mark Sanford who claims to have had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with state Rep. Nikki Haley has released text messages he says back up his story.
Will Folks posted the text messages on FITSNews.com early Wednesday morning. Haley communications director Tim Pearson wrote in a text dated May 15, "I think we both deny it. I think an affidavit is something we can beat down, legally and politically."
Pearson sent another text saying, "I'm telling you man, we keep this under wraps and [Haley] is going to win."
Rep. Haley has continued to deny Folks' claim of a past relationship.
"This blogger's overactive imagination has gone into overdrive," Pearson told reporters on Wednesday, confirming the authenticity of the messages. "South Carolina politics is full of rumors and innuendo, and of course our campaign did everything in our power to prevent false rumors about Nikki from airing out in the media – as they now have. Every campaign would have done exactly the same thing."
Folks also posted a message he says is from Wes Donahue, who Folks calls a supporter of the Barrett campaign. That message says: "Your family and Nikki's kids are the only reason I haven't acted."
Barrett responded Wednesday morning. "Wes Donahue never worked for the Barrett campaign," said campaign manager Luke Byars. He said Donahue "previously worked for one of our consultants but left three months ago."
Barrett denied that anyone from his campaign pressured Folks about the affair.
Folks' blog Wednesday morning includes a list of more than 75 text messages and it also makes reference to a picture of Haley and Folks.
In the blog, Folks says "Nikki will play a more prominent role in future updates."
Donahue said he could not speak on-record about the message.