The ugly truth behind Donald Trump's tweet about Don Blankenship

Posted May 08, 2018

Trump felt otherwise when he said in a tweet that Blankenship would lose the general election to Manchin. The victor would take on Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in November.

Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws after 29 miners were killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.

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

"To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference", Trump said in a Twitter post.

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White House aides and Republicans in the Senate had been discussing whether Trump should comment on Blankenship and decided he should if it looked like Blankenship could win, three officials said, The Times reported. "Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey", Trump tweeted. Until recently, the West Virginia primary had been treated as a two-man race between West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Congressman Evan Jenkins, but Blankenship has closed the gap.

Blankenship was responding to a Trump tweet Monday imploring West Virginians not to vote for the former Massey Energy CEO.

Blankenship dismissed Trump's concerns, telling reporters that the president was too "busy" to know how "flawed" Morrisey and Jenkins are.

The ad ends, "send me to the Senate and I will represent West Virginia people not China people".

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In a new radio ad, Blankenship says that "the establishment politicians are getting more desperate and more hostile, calling me a bigot, a moron, a despicable character and mentally ill". On a West Virginia radio show, he suggested that McConnell faces a conflict of interest because he's married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan to Chinese parents. "Does Blankenship winning all of a sudden put this off the table for the Republicans?"

But two other polls from unnamed rival Senate campaigns obtained by the Weekly Standard Monday morning tell a different story. Not on what Blankenship has said or what he believes.

Some in party leadership are still smarting from the loss in the Alabama senatorial election in which Democrat Doug Jones defeated Moore, a Republican who faced allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, the women were in their teens.

The victor of that special election will face Sen. "I'm the only candidate in this race who has backed Donald Trump since day one, and I'm working side-by-side with him to America, and West Virginia, Great Again". No matter who wins, Democrats think they have a chance to pick up this seat, which Trump won by 11 points, in the special election in August. But he was unable to lock up the primary.

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