Eric Greitens Slams Big Tech After Facebook Pulls 'RINO Hunting' Ad

U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens has slammed social media companies after Facebook and Twitter took action against a new ad he released that depicts the Republican "RINO hunting."

The ad shows Greitens, who is running for the open Senate seat in Missouri, holding a shotgun and encouraging those watching to get a permit to hunt RINOS—Republicans in Name Only.

Facebook parent company Meta has now removed the ad from the platform, while Twitter has added a warning label to Greiten's tweet from Monday that contains the video.

"Big Tech is once again meddling in our elections and putting their thumb on the scale," Greitens tweeted on Monday in response to the social media companies.

"When I'm U.S. Senator, I will fight against the disgusting tech oligarchs from stealing any more elections," he said.

In his original tweet containing the video, Greitens had written: "We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left. Order your RINO Hunting Permit today!"

The video shows Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, with a shotgun and men standing around him dressed in camouflage uniforms. The men then brake into what appears to be an empty house and use flash grenades.

Twitter added a warning that said the tweet violated its rules about "abusive behavior" but said it was leaving the video up because it may be in the public interest to keep the tweet accessible.

A spokesperson for Meta told Kansas City's KHSB 41 News: "We removed this video for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement."

The ad was met with a flurry of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

Missouri State Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, a Republican, tweeted on Friday that he had been in contact with police and hoped "that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs."

"Anyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric," Rowden said.

He was referring to the fact that Greitens had been governor of Missouri from 2017 to 2018 but resigned amid allegations that he had attempted to blackmail a woman he had been having an affair with by releasing nude photos of her. He denied this allegation and charges against him were dropped. Greitens' ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, has also accused him of being physically violent toward her and her children.

His campaign has called those allegations "outright lies" and has described him as a "great dad." They also described his former wife is "a woman with a documented history of mental illness and emotionally abusive behavior."

In a statement on Friday, a campaign spokesperson for U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, who is also running in the GOP Missouri Senate primary, alluded to Greitens' past.

"Eric Greitens is an abuser, a blackmailer, and less than ten years ago—a Democrat," Hartzler's campaign told KHSB 41 News. "There is no basement too low for him to cover up his past Obama support and blindfold Missourians into believing he represents their values."

The Greitens campaign defended the ad, telling The Hill on Friday: "If anyone doesn't get the metaphor, they are either lying or dumb."

Several Republicans have previously urged Greitens to leave the Senate race, including fellow Missourian, Senator Josh Hawley.

Newsweek has asked the Greitens campaign for comment.

Eric Greitens
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens gestures while speaking to reporters in Jefferson City Feb. 22, 2022. Greitens has slammed Big Tech after a new ad was removed by Facebook. AP/David A. Lieb