Former President Donald Trump on the eve of the Missouri primaries gave his coveted endorsement in the…for Missouri’s open Senate seat, but there was some confusion about who was selected.
“I trust the Great People of Missouri to make their own decisions on this, 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 my full and Total approval !” Trump wrote in a statement Monday evening.
And with that, Trump apparently eliminated everyone in the field of 19 not named Eric. There are two prominent candidates who share the first name: Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Attorney Generaland one candidate follows them.
The semi-approval came as Schmitt took a lead in recent polls, including one by Emerson College released in late July, where he led Representative Vicky Hartzler by 12 points. Greitens came in third in that poll.
Greitens, a controversial candidate who resigned in 2018 after a sex scandal and misuse of campaign funds, has been falling in the polls since June after more than $11 million was spent on the air by outside groups to prevent him from becoming the primary and possibly this state in the in the November general election.
Earlier this year, Greitens’ ex-wife also alleged that he abused her and their son, allegations that the Greitens campaign has denied. Sheena Greitens repeated the accusations on Twitter on Monday.
Shortly after Trump’s statement, both Greitens and Schmitt claimed to have Trump’s full support.
“President Trump has looked at the candidates and everything at stake in this race, and he has given me his FULL AND TOTAL SUPPORT!” read a campaign fundraising email from Schmitt.
“Honored to have the support of President Trump! We will be MAGA!” Greitens tweeted. Greitens also has ties to Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, and he tweeted a video of Guilfoyle who supported him.
To complicate matters further, there is a third Eric in the running: Eric McElroy. In a statement, Hartzler said: “Congratulations Eric McElroy. Have a great night.”
Trump said in July that he would expressly not support Hartzler.