Trump tells West Virginia Republicans Blankenship can not win Senate race


West Virginia's attorney general has said he plans to notify a probation officer that GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship violated the Ethics in Government Act by failing to file a form - but a federal prosecutor says the failure to file wouldn't have violated the terms of Blankenship's supervised release from prison.

After President Donald Trump used former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's loss to dissuade West Virginians from voting for coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship, Blankenship hit back Monday by reminding voters that Trump backed Moore before his shocking loss.

"Problem is, Don Blankenship, now running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State", the President said.

In urging a vote against Blankenship, Trump follows in the footsteps of his son - Donald Trump Jr. - who, at the end of last week, tweeted: "I hate to lose".

Blankenship, who has called himself "Trumpier than Trump", spent a year in jail following the 2010 explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 workers, and has referred to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao's father - the Shanghai-born chairman of a global shipping company - as a "wealthy China-person".

"We don't think that even President Trump can stop it", Blankenship told Fox News.

"He (Trump) doesn't know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary", Blankenship said.

"The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President's agenda", he continued.

Blankenship has centered his candidacy around attacking fellow Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, accusing him of undermining Trump.

"I think it could be misunderstood - people love Trump's policies and his commitment to West Virginia, they don't necessarily love individuals".

McConnell is married to Trump's Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose parents immigrated to the 1961 and are both US citizens. He's now in first place among three Republicans vying for the GOP nomination in Tuesday's West Virginia primary election. "The President hasn't been involved in this race, but we are looking forward to him endorsing us after we win the primary".

Like Trump, Blankenship has also taken to labeling his political enemies, calling McConnell "Cocaine Mitch" in a recent ad.

"No way!" Trump tweeted.

He has particularly targeted Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, claiming he is a "swamp captain" who has "given millions of jobs to China people".

Blankenship argued that neither Jenkins or Morrisey could beat Manchin without his support, but he would prevail over the Democratic stalwart "even without the support of the establishment".

The Republican president maintains a strong approval rating in West Virginia at 61 points, according to March polling from Morning Consult.



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