Updated Jun 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Eric Greitens' "RINO hunting" video removed from Facebook

Eric Greitens delivers a speech.
Eric Greitens delivers a speech in 2018. Photo: Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Republican Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens is facing criticism and condemnation Monday after sharing a political ad urging supporters to go "RINO hunting."

The latest: Twitter has a warning ahead of the video, saying it violates Twitter's rules about "abusive behavior." Meta removed Greitens' video from Facebook on Monday afternoon.

  • "We removed this video for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement," a Meta spokesperson told Axios.
  • Greitens said Facebook "censored our new ad."

Driving the news: In the 38-second video, the Missouri Republican talks about his past as a Navy Seal before saying he's going "RINO hunting" and cocking a shotgun. He then breaks into a home alongside a group of men wearing U.S. camouflage uniforms and other military-style gear.

  • "The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice... There's no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn't expire until we save our country," Greitens says in the video.
  • He calls on his supporters to join the "MAGA crew" and get a "RINO hunting permit."
  • "We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left," Greitens tweeted alongside the ad. "Order your RINO Hunting Permit today!"
  • Greitens also shared a link for people to order their "RINO hunting permit," which leads to a donation page.

What they're saying: Multiple politicians and officials reacted to the video.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called Greitens "a very bad man" in response to the video.
  • Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.): "This type of fa[s]cist messaging needs to stop. It only encourages political violence."
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas): "This is sociopathic. You're going to get someone killed. No television station or streaming service should agree to air this ad. Any broadcasters who air it should be referred to the @FCC."

Flashback: Greitens released a video ad during his 2016 campaign for governor in which he used an automatic Gatling gun.

  • He won the election but resigned two years later over allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • He also faced felony charges for using a veterans charity list to raise campaign money, PBS reports.
  • In March 2022, his ex-wife accused him of physically abusing their children, the New York Times reports.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional information from Twitter and Facebook.

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