Embattled GOP candidate quietly maneuvering to dethrone Mitch McConnell: report
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is facing opposition from a Republican candidate as he seeks to regain control of the U.S. Senate.

Disgraced former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned after less than 18 months in office amid sexual assault and campaign finance scandals, wants Republicans to dump the Kentucky senator as their leader.

"Former Missouri governor Eric Greitens (R), who is running for Senate, said Tuesday that if he wins next year, he will not support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as former president Donald Trump tries to oust the GOP party leader," The Washington Post reported in September. "While many of the Republicans running in Senate primaries have gone out of their way to court Trump’s support, including by backing his false claims about the 2020 election, they have been reluctant to join him in condemning the Kentucky Republican."

In November he said, "No More RINOs. I'm not voting for Mitch McConnell."

Greitens has since escalated his rhetoric.

"I want to tell you directly, Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell. Hear me now. You are disgusting cowards. And we are coming for you. I will no longer allow you to attack me and attack my kids and to destroy this country," Greitens said in March.

Far-right Breitbart News reports Greitens polled the question, "If you knew a candidate pledged to vote against Mitch McConnell as Senate leader, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for that candidate?”

"Overall, 49 percent of GOP primary voters in Missouri said it would make them more likely to support that candidate. Only 16 percent said it would make them less likely — meaning there is more than three-to-one support for ditching McConnell than keeping him — and 36 percent said it would make no difference," Breitbart News reported. "In the Missouri GOP U.S. Senate primary, there is only one candidate — Greitens, who leads the crowded pack — who has pledged to vote against McConnell. Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) have both refused to answer the question repeatedly, and despite their respective backing by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) are viewed as potentially close allies of McConnell should they win the election."

Greitens is backed in the campaign by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Gov. Eric Greitens: I'm proud to have the support of America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. www.youtube.com