Trump sparks confusion after endorsing ‘ERIC’ in Missouri GOP race

Two Erics are top contenders in Tuesday’s GOP primary for an open US Senate seat in Missouri.

But it wasn’t clear who former President Donald Trump backed even after he issued an endorsement in the race where Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former governor Eric Greitens are both running.

On the eve of the election, Trump said in a statement he was “proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

“There is a BIG Election in the Great State of Missouri, and we must send a MAGA Champion and True Warrior to the US Senate, someone who will fight for Border Security, Election Integrity, our Military and Great Veterans, together with having powerful toughness on Crime and the Border,” Trump stated.

“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 landside victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Both candidates were quick to claim and tout Trump’s support.

Schmitt, in a tweet, wrote, “I’m grateful for President Trump’s endorsement. As the only America First candidate who has actually fought for election integrity, border security & against the Left’s indoctrination of our kids – I’ll take that fight to the Senate to SAVE AMERICA!”

FILE - In this Aug.  6, 2020 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St.  Louis.  Schmitt announced Wednesday, March 24, 2021, that he's making a bid for retiring US Sen.  Roy Blunt's seat
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was quick to claim Trump’s support after the former president’s confusing statement was released.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

Greitens also wrote he was “honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement.”

“From the beginning, I’ve been the true MAGA Champion fighting against the RINO establishment backing Schmitt,” I tweeted.

He also bragged about being backed by Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, media personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, in a separate tweet.

Greitens also hey “just had a GREAT phone call with President Trump” and thanked him for the support.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens during the first general election debate in the race for Missouri governor at the Missouri Press Association convention Friday, Sept.  30, 2016, in Branson, Mo.
Former governor Eric Greitens also interpreted Trump’s statement as a sure endorsement of him.
AP Photo/Jeff Robersob

Schmitt hit back by reposting a tweet from conservative media personality Dan Bongino commenting on Greitens’ claim.

“Bulls—t. Read the endorsement. This dude is a FRAUD,” Bongino said in reference to Greitens.

Schmitt and Greitens are both vying to replace outgoing Sen. Roy Blunt. Schmitt is the favorite with an Emerson College poll last week showing him with about 33% of the predicted vote. After that, Rep. Vicky Hartzler had 21% and Greitens was in third with 16%.

Many national Republicans want Greitens to lose because of past scandals he was involved in, including charges of domestic abuse by his ex-wife.

While there’s a third candidate named Eric — Eric McElroy — also running, he is a long shot contender.

Still, Hartzler threw congratulations his way Monday.

“Congratulations to Eric McElroy. He’s having a big night,” she said in statement, according to CBS News.

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