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Trump stuns GOP by endorsing ‘Eric’ in Missouri Senate primary — a race with three Erics

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Former President Donald Trump caused some last-minute confusion ahead of the Missouri Senate primary on Tuesday by endorsing “ERIC” in a statement Monday night.

Eric who? Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens? State Attorney General Eric Schmitt? Or maybe even the little-known Eric McElroy?

“I trust the Great People of Missouri to make their own decisions in this matter, just 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 released my full and Total approval!” Trump said in a statement, after stressing to voters, “send to the US Senate a MAGA champion and true warrior, one who will fight for border security, electoral integrity, our military and great veterans, along with a powerful toughness against crime.” and the border.”

When reached for comment, Trump’s team offered no clarity, saying only that the “approval speaks for itself.”

Allies of Greitens and Schmitt separately argued that their candidate was the real recipient of the endorsement, or that the other man was not MAGA enough to get Trump’s endorsement.

A Trump adviser said the internal bickering demonstrated the former president’s lasting power and influence in the party.

“Instead of talking about Missouri, the Erics are debating what Trump’s endorsement means,” the adviser said. “Yeah, it’s an epic troll.”

However, by not supporting Greitens, Trump could have sealed his defeat.

“Trump approval is a wildcard Greitens needs. And if he doesn’t get it, it’s hard to see how he wins,” said John Lamping, a Republican and former senator from Missouri.

Schmitt led Greitens in most public polls, reaching about 30 percent support in the crowded GOP field, while Greitens tends to come in at 25 percent. Rep. Vicky Hartzler is statistically second to Greitens in those surveys.

Greitens began to stumble after a devastating onslaught of political committee radio and TV advertisements funded by GOP establishment figures who favored the former governor sex scandalthe allegations of domestic violence and a trade mission he took to China.

For months, Trump had considered approving Greitens, but privately raised concerns among confidants about the sex scandal that led to Greitens being ousted from office in 2018. And he was troubled by allegations earlier this year from the former governor’s ex-wife that he physically abused she and their 3-year-old son. Greitens campaign manager Dylan Johnson called the allegations “politically motivated” and “outright lies.”

During a recent lobbying campaign by Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle — who is co-chair of Greitens’ Senate campaign — some Trump watchers began to believe former President Greitens would nod.

But Schmitt also had Trump allies in his corner, namely former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was part of Trump’s defense team for his first impeachment trial.

Trump’s mood toward Schmitt’s campaign appeared to sour on Sunday when he began grumbling on his Truth Social website that Schmitt pollster Jeff Roe had published a poll of Republicans in Missouri who questioned Trump’s dominance in a hypothetical presidential primaries of 2024, especially against the Florida government. Ron DeSantis. Trump won Missouri by more than 15 percentage points in 2020.

The winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary will take on former US Marine Lucas Kunce or Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the Busch family’s beer fortune, in November.

Meanwhile, independent John Wood, a Republican and former investigator for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots, said Monday that he enough signatures submitted to be eligible to vote in the general election.

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