BREAKING NEWS : Man in critical condition after shooting in Fort Wayne Full Story

GOP candidate calls McConnell 'cocaine Mitch'

Don Blankenship, a Republican candidate for US Senate in West Virginia, is defending an ad his campaign released Monday in which he referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as "Cocaine Mitch."

Posted: May 2, 2018 6:23 PM
Updated: May 2, 2018 6:26 PM

Don Blankenship, a Republican candidate for US Senate in West Virginia, is defending an ad his campaign released Monday in which he referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as "Cocaine Mitch."

In a press release on Tuesday, Blankenship's campaign claimed McConnell and his family have "extensive ties" to China before elaborating on the reasoning behind the ad.

"His father-in-law who founded and owns a large Chinese shipping company has given Mitch and his wife millions of dollars over the years. The company was implicated recently in smuggling cocaine from Colombia to Europe, hidden aboard a company ship carrying foreign coal was $7 million dollars of cocaine and that is why we've deemed him 'Cocaine Mitch,'" the press release reads.

James Chao, McConnell's father-in-law, was born in China, but moved to the United States before starting the Foremost Group, a shipping company, in New York. The press release points to a 2014 article in The Nation that reported cocaine was found on a ship belonging to Chao's company.

A spokesman for McConnell referred a request for comment on the ad to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and did not respond to a request for comment on the press release. The NRSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Blankenship campaign also did not immediately respond to a request comment.

In the ad released Monday, Blankenship said, "One of my goals as US senator will be to ditch Cocaine Mitch."

This isn't the first time that Blankenship has attacked McConnell's family. Last month, the he referred to McConnell's father-in-law as "a wealthy Chinaperson," saying, "I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson and there's a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China."

McConnell, who is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, later told Fox News, "My father-in-law is an American who lives in New York. I don't have any comment about ridiculous observations like that."

Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to McConnell, tweeted, "this candidate is as contemptible a human being as you will find," in response to those remarks.

Blankenship, a former coal executive who served a year in prison stemming from a 2010 mine explosion, is running against Republican Representative Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the West Virginia Senate Republican primary, which will take place next week.

A recent Fox News poll showed Blankenship lagging behind Jenkins and Morrisey. The winner of the primary will face off against Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin in the general election.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 77565

Reported Deaths: 3105
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16304733
Lake7840283
Elkhart499287
Allen4103164
St. Joseph368183
Hamilton2941104
Vanderburgh208215
Hendricks1972109
Cass18099
Johnson1800119
Porter139139
Clark133350
Tippecanoe126312
Madison104866
LaPorte95730
Howard93865
Kosciusko87212
Bartholomew84447
Floyd83750
Marshall80123
Monroe77732
Delaware76852
Vigo75213
Dubois71812
Noble70829
Boone70446
Hancock69439
Jackson6065
Warrick60030
Shelby57228
LaGrange56910
Grant53230
Dearborn52228
Morgan49235
Henry46020
Clinton4564
Wayne40210
White38011
Montgomery36321
Lawrence35827
Harrison35524
Decatur34732
Putnam3288
Daviess28420
Miami2792
Scott27810
Jasper2592
Greene25634
Franklin24915
Gibson2434
DeKalb2424
Jennings23212
Ripley2208
Steuben2173
Fayette2057
Carroll2033
Perry18813
Posey1810
Starke1817
Orange17924
Wabash1795
Wells1782
Fulton1742
Jefferson1722
Knox1681
Whitley1606
Tipton15416
Sullivan1521
Washington1481
Clay1415
Spencer1393
Randolph1325
Huntington1303
Newton12110
Adams1202
Owen1101
Jay940
Rush914
Pulaski841
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Pike660
Ohio656
Benton630
Vermillion610
Parke591
Switzerland560
Martin500
Crawford480
Union410
Warren251
Unassigned0207

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 105426

Reported Deaths: 3755
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin19124533
Cuyahoga13999519
Hamilton9917260
Lucas5544324
Montgomery4544101
Summit3712224
Butler307064
Marion295245
Mahoning2644258
Pickaway240442
Stark1931142
Warren187739
Lorain186777
Columbiana169960
Trumbull1578111
Fairfield144933
Delaware137819
Licking136751
Clark121815
Lake115443
Wood110158
Clermont98111
Medina97736
Miami88139
Allen81746
Tuscarawas80114
Portage78063
Greene74212
Mercer66813
Belmont62826
Richland62612
Erie61928
Ashtabula58046
Madison58010
Wayne56759
Geauga56545
Ross5204
Darke42529
Huron4135
Hancock4103
Sandusky40717
Ottawa40527
Athens3642
Holmes3316
Lawrence3230
Auglaize2866
Union2771
Scioto2601
Muskingum2561
Seneca2424
Jefferson2403
Preble2192
Shelby2194
Knox2189
Putnam21517
Washington21222
Coshocton1999
Champaign1922
Morrow1852
Hardin18012
Crawford1775
Clinton1746
Highland1692
Logan1692
Perry1643
Fulton1581
Ashland1563
Defiance1554
Wyandot1559
Brown1502
Williams1393
Fayette1260
Henry1242
Hocking1229
Guernsey1217
Carroll1145
Monroe9418
Pike800
Gallia781
Jackson780
Van Wert732
Paulding720
Adams682
Meigs630
Vinton322
Morgan310
Harrison261
Noble190
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
64° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
64° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Storm Chances Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events