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File photo of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship by Chris Tilley/Reuters

Trump urges West Virginia voters to reject Don Blankenship

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is urging West Virginia voters to reject a former federal convict and coal baron running in the Republican Senate primary, arguing that Don Blankenship would lose the general election.

Trump tweets on Monday: “To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!”

Blankenship has taken aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with racially charged accusations of corruption. He responded that Trump doesn’t know him and “the establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the US Senate and promote the president’s agenda.”

He added: “As some have said, I am Trumpier than Trump and this morning proves it.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Monday on Fox and Friends said the president’s tweet against Blankenship are meant to avoid internal battles among Republicans and “find the very best person” in West Virginia to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat.

The primary is Tuesday.

Trump is citing Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who lost a special Senate election after allegations of past sexual misconduct. Trump endorsed Moore in that race.

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