Radio host Hugh Hewitt pleaded with Trump not to endorse Eric Greitens in Missouri's GOP Senate primary.
Greitens, who resigned from office in 2018 amid multiple scandals, is making a comeback bid.
"Please don't, please don't endorse Eric Greitens. That's a nightmare, Mr. President," Hewitt said.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt during a Wednesday interview implored former President Donald Trump not to endorse controversial ex-governor Eric Greitens in the Republican primary for US Senate in Missouri.
"Please don't, please don't endorse Eric Greitens. That's a nightmare, Mr. President," Hewitt said. "We'll lose that seat. But that's Hugh Hewitt's opinion, not yours."
"Well, that's an interesting opinion, that's true," Trump responded. "He's right now leading by quite a bit."
"I know, but he will lose the seat," Hewitt added. "We will lose the seat."
"I understand that," Trump replied. "OK, some people feel that."
Greitens served as Missouri's governor from January 2017 to May 2018 before resigning from office amid sexual misconduct and campaign finance scandals. He is making a comeback run for office in the primary to replace retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.
His opponents for the August 2 primary so far include Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, Missouri Senate President Dave Schatz, and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis lawyer who gained a national profile for brandishing an AR-15 as Black Lives Matter protesters marched through his neighborhood in 2020.
The events that led to Greitens' resignation started when a hairdresser with whom Greitens had an extramarital affair accused him of forcing her into sex acts, choking her, and taking sexually explicit photos without her consent in order to blackmail her, which is known as "revenge porn." Greitens acknowledged the affair but consistently denied that he had taken nonconsensual photos, blackmailed, or physically abused the woman.
Greitens was indicted on a felony count of invasion of privacy over one of the alleged photos and a separate count of tampering with a computer in 2018 in connection to accessing a nonprofit donor list for use in his campaign, but prosecutors eventually dropped both charges.
After an 18-month investigation, the Missouri Ethics Commission concluded that Greitens' gubernatorial campaign had unlawfully coordinated with a PAC and his nonprofit, but found "no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Eric Greitens, individually, and no evidence that Governor Greitens knew of the two reporting violations."
Greitens, facing impeachment by the Missouri legislature, resigned in 2018. In 2020, he declared vindication over the Ethics Commission report and struck an agreement that allowed him not to pay the full $178,000 in fees that the body had levied if he didn't violate campaign finance laws in the next two years.
But allegations of campaign finance wrongdoing have continued to plague Greitens.
The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in late October accusing Greitens of illegally funneling over $100,000 in leftover funds from his gubernatorial campaign account toward his Senate bid, a violation of federal law.
And last week, the watchdog group lodged a second complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission accusing Greitens of violating his agreement with the Commission and asking the body to make Greitens pay $140,000 more in fees.
Greitens' campaign denied the organization's claims of unlawful campaign spending.
"No funds from prior campaigns have been used in the Senate race," Greitens' campaign manager previously said in a statement to Insider. "This is another cynical Soros-funded witchhunt and we will seek damages for these libelous claims." Greitens and Missouri Republicans have frequently pointed the finger at George Soros, a billionaire financier, in order to undermine and discredit politicians that have investigated Greitens.
In Wednesday's interview, Trump also teased endorsements in key Republican primaries, including the crowded Republican primary in Ohio to replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, and said the Missouri race was "very interesting."
"I'll endorse at some point," Trump said of the Ohio Senate primary, set for May 3. "It's a very interesting race, and the Missouri race also, very interesting race. And Pennsylvania's going to be very interesting. A couple of people are getting in there now that are excellent."
Trump has weighed in on several high-profile 2022 contests, including endorsing primary challengers to Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach him in January, like Kelly Tshbiaka, running against Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, and Harriet Hageman, running against Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming.
Trump also rewarded a key ally, Rep. Mo Brooks, with an endorsement in the GOP primary in Senate in Alabama. And in Georgia, a key swing state, he's backed former football star Herschel Walker for US Senate and former Sen. David Perdue for a primary challenge against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
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