What to Know
"Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State...No way!" Trump tweeted
Blankenship is a former coal executive who served prison time for his role in the deadly 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion
The winner of the GOP primary will take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin
President Donald Trump on Monday urged West Virginia voters to support any Republican candidate for U.S. Senate except Don Blankenship in the state's GOP primary this week, which prompted the convicted former coal executive to return fire, NBC News reported.
Blankenship served prison time for his role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed 29 of his Massey Energy miners. Establishment Republicans are concerned by the possibility that he could be surging heading into Tuesday's primary against Rep. Evan Jenkins and Patrick Morrisey, the state's attorney general.
"Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can't win the General Election in your State...No way!" Trump tweeted on Monday. "Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!"
Blankenship responded at a town hall meeting: "We all really like President Trump's policies and we know that he doesn't get everything right. He recommended that people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia in Alabama."
Both the president and Blankenship were referring to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who lost his race following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The winner of West Virginia's primary will take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin.