'My Father-In-Law Is An American': McConnell Dismisses Blankenship Jab

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Sandra Smith pressed West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship on an inflammatory comment about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Asian-American father-in-law.

During a radio interview, Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, said he is concerned with McConnell's earnesty in regards to the "America First" agenda of President Trump.

McConnell (R-Ky.) is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a longtime civil servant. Blankenship said Chao's father, James Si-Cheng Chao, is "a wealthy China person" who has "a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China."

McConnell called Blankenship's observation "ridiculous," and said he hopes to see a candidate emerge from the Republican primary who can "actually win the general election."  

On "America's Newsroom" on Thursday, Smith asked Blankenship why he targeted McConnell and his family.

"It's not a target on his family at all. It's just an observation that Mitch's family is very well-connected in China," Blankenship said, declining to comment on the language he chose to use. 

He noted that there will be many upcoming trade, tariff and legal dealings with China, so it's important to ensure that lawmakers don't have any conflicts of interest.

He added that McConnell attacked him first and opposed his candidacy because the Senate majority leader is afraid of an anti-establishment candidate.

"We certainly intend to win the election and make a difference in Washington," Blankenship said.

Watch the segment above, and don't miss Fox News Channel's West Virginia GOP Senate primary debate on Tuesday at 6:30pm ET, moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

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