- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

“Cocaine Mitch” decided to embrace it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign tweeted Tuesday evening about the Republican Senate primary in West Virginia, in which former coal-company CEO Don Blankenship finished a poor third.

Mr. Blankenship based a major part of his campaign on attacking Mr. McConnell, widely seen among tea-party and Trump-loyal Republicans as the embodiment of the party’s “Swamp” establishment. But Mr. Blankenship went beyond that, dubbing him “Cocaine Mitch” whom he would “ditch” once in the Senate.

Late Tuesday evening, Mr. McConnell’s official campaign Twitter account posted a taunting “thanks for playing, @DonBlankenship” message.

The accompanying image was Mr. McConnell from the waist up, with an aura of white dust and white flakes decorating his body.

The basis for the “Cocaine Mitch” epithet, which Mr. Blankenship used repeatedly despite widespread ridicule from fact-checkers, is that 90 pounds of cocaine was found on the cargo ship Ping May in Colombian waters. The 91,000-ton vessel was operated by a New York shipping company owned by the family of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao.

Colombian authorities filed no charges in the case, nor has there been any implication of official complicity even by company workers, much less Ms. Chao, much less Mr. McConnell.

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