Former president Donald Trump has officially thrown his support behind “Eric” in the Missouri primary, which has pitted former Missouri governor Eric Greitens against Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt, among other candidates.
Yet the particular Eric he endorses remains unclear, in what may be one of Trump’s craftiest endorsements yet.
“There is a big election in the great state of Missouri, and we must send a MAGA champion and true warrior to the U.S. Senate, someone who will fight for border security, election integrity, our military and great veterans, together with having a powerful toughness on crime and the border.
“We need a person who will not back down to the radical Left lunatics who are destroying our country.”
“I trust the great people of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that Eric has my complete and total endorsement!” Trump wrote.
“I guess Trump enjoys being a comic,” Mark McCloskey, another candidate in the race, told The Epoch Times on Aug. 1.
Greitens responded on Twitter by accepting Trump’s remarks as an endorsement:
Honored to have the support of President Trump! We will MAGA! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/NljSJqEQG5
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) August 1, 2022
So did Schmitt’s election team:
🚨President Donald Trump Endorses ERIC SCHMITT for U.S. Senate🚨
— Team Schmitt for US Senate (@Schmitt4Senate) August 1, 2022
“It is truly an honor to have [former] president Trump’s endorsement in the Senate race.
“As the only America First candidate in this race, I have fought for election integrity, fought to secure our borders by pushing back on Biden’s reversal of [former] president Trump’s remain in Mexico policy, suing, and winning to ensure Title 42 stays in place and suing to finish [former] president Trump’s border wall, and the only candidate who has taken on the radical Left lunatics who want to indoctrinate our kids in school,” Schmitt told The Epoch Times on Aug. 1.
Greitens’ election team includes many Trump insiders.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former adviser to Trump and fiancee of Donald Trump Jr., serves as Greitens for US Senate National Chair.
General Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, and Dennis Prager have also endorsed Greitens.
Trump first announced he would endorse a candidate earlier in the day on Aug. 1, following weeks of speculation.
In a July 31 post on Truth Social, the former president hinted at some measure of opposition to Schmitt.
“Wow, great dishonesty in politics. Too bad!” Trump wrote of a Breitbart News article.
That article details a poll linked to Schmitt’s team. It claims that unnamed strategists think the poll understates support for a Trump run in 2024.
Despite his Trumpworld advantage, Greitens has been hindered by a series of scandals.
The former NAVY Seal and Rhodes Scholar served as Governor of Missouri before resigning in 2018, following allegations of financial and sexual misconduct.
The subsequent investigation of Greitens by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has itself been engulfed in controversy.
A former FBI agent involved in the effort pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of evidence tampering, while Gardner herself recently faced a reprimand for her actions from the Missouri Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
In March of this year, Greitens’ ex-wife, Sheena Chestnut Greitens, accused him of domestic abuse during 2018 in an affidavit.
In a July 22 interview with The Epoch Times, Greitens asserted that her claims amounted to “a false allegation,” tying them to what he describes as behind-the-scenes machinations by the Republican establishment.
Trump made headlines in July when he definitively stated he would not offer an endorsement to Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), another top candidate in the primary.
Primary candidates that Trump endorsed this election cycle have enjoyed overwhelming success, according to Aug. 1 statistics from Ballotpedia.
Ninety three percent of those Trump has supported have gone on to victory in their respective primaries.