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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Greitens, Brooks, Trump

Brian Slodysko, Jim Salter & Summer Ballentine at AP:
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now a leading Republican Senate candidate, was physically abusive and demonstrated such “unstable and coercive behavior” that steps were taken to limit his access to firearms, according to new allegations from his ex-wife revealed in court records on Monday.

A sworn affidavit from Sheena Greitens is part of an ongoing child custody dispute in Missouri. A public affairs professor at the University of Texas, she sought divorce from Eric Greitens after a sex scandal which led to his resignation as governor in June 2018. She’s now asking the court to move the custody case to the Austin area, in part to spare her children from renewed public attention as Eric Greitens tries to mount a political comeback.

Natalie Allison & Burgess Everett at Politico:

Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri’s junior senator who last month endorsed Rep. Vicky Hartzler in the race to succeed Blunt, said it was “time for Eric Greitens to leave this race.” It is a message that’s resonating across the Senate GOP.

“I wish he would” drop out, said. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who has also endorsed Hartzler.

“I had qualms about him running with that first incident,” Ernst said, referring to an earlier alleged scandal. “So this is not getting better for him.”

In a statement on Monday, Greitens said he would seek full custody of his children, though his ex-wife’s affidavit explained the boys’ school and social life is currently based in Austin, Texas, where she is employed.

“I will continue to love and care for my beautiful sons with all of my being, and that includes fighting for the truth and against completely fabricated, baseless allegations,” Greitens said, accusing “political operatives and the liberal media” of lying about the accusations.

He later appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” show alleging that his ex-wife had conspired with “RINO” Republicans to smear him, claiming that a news story would come out as early as Tuesday to “connect the dots directly to Mitch McConnell.

McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to comment. Greitens became the first Senate candidate last year to publicly take on the Senate minority leader, vowing to work to oust him from leadership if elected.

Tal Axelrod at The Hill:

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) vowed in a new digital ad that he will support booting Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from his role as GOP leader if Brooks is elected to the Senate this year.

The announcement makes Brooks the third Republican Senate candidate in the country so far to back ousting McConnell from his perch and comes as former President Trump expressed frustration with Brooks’s Alabama Senate campaign and even hinted he could rescind his endorsement.

“Today, I unveil my pledge to America to fire Mitch McConnell. If elected to the Senate, I will not vote for Mitch McConnell for leader, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that Republicans choose a conservative to be leader. America can’t afford a Senate leader who is a weak-kneed, debt junkie, open-border RINO Republican, and who, worse yet, sells out America for special interest group cash,” Brooks said, using an acronym for “Republican in name only.”

Brooks is the latest member of a trio of Senate candidates, including Eric Greitens in Missouri and Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska, running anti-establishment campaigns in Trump’s mold. The former president has endorsed Brooks and Tshibaka but has yet to venture into Missouri’s Senate race.

The new ad from Brooks comes at a precarious time for the six-term lawmaker’s Senate bid.

Brooks has hinged much of his campaign on Trump’s endorsement, but the former president has expressed frustration with the Alabamian over remarks at a rally last year in which he urged attendees to move on from the 2020 election, which Trump has said, without evidence, was marred by fraud.

“I’m disappointed that he gave an inarticulate answer, and I’ll have to find out what he means,” Trump told The Washington Examiner last week. “If it meant what he sounded like, I would have no problem changing [my endorsement] because when you endorse somebody, you endorse somebody based on principle. If he changed that principle, I would have no problem doing that.”