Don Blankenship, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following response to a fake and misleading New York Times story.

The New York Times has joined forces with a Super PAC to disparage me and my campaign. The reporter is clearly a communist propagandist with no American values, whatsoever. Much of what he says is filled with outright lies and nearly all of the rest is simply misrepresentation. It would be too kind to call his article fake news. It is communist propaganda.

He claims my primary residence is Nevada. My life now spans 68 years and I have spent nearly 60 of those in West Virginia. Currently I do have a home in Nevada and in West Virginia. But I have a West Virginia driver’s license and I am registered to vote in West Virginia. In fact—without pomp and circumstance – I voted yesterday.

It is true that I have not yet filed a personal financial disclosure. It is also true, however, that I said my delay in filing is due to the relatively low monetary fine, my hectic schedule during the campaign, and the cost and complexity of preparing the statement. I surely did not say anything about “flaunting”the law.

The article makes it sound as if I hold China in high-esteem. What I said is that I admire what the Chinese have done economically. Since I first visited nearly thirty years ago, China has done a wonderful job of growing its economy and improving the lives of its people. I further expressed that China’s lack of regulations made possible a huge increase in personal wealth. However, it did come with a price to the environment.

He also wrote about a comment I made long ago that I might someday seek Chinese citizenship. This has also been taken out of context. I have previously expressed my opinion that if we do not control our federal budget, quit allowing illegals to freely enter our country, and quit angering the world by policing it, that we may all have to learn to speak Chinese and move to China. I have made this same point in speeches for many years—not because I do not love America, but because I worry we are rapidly falling behind China and will one day lose our place as the world’s only super power.

On the one hand, this article infers that I seriously considered becoming a citizen of China, yet also somehow manages to assert that I used a derogatory term to refer to its citizens – neither of which could be further from the truth.

The article also commented that I was challenging long-settled facts about the Upper Big Branch mine explosion. That is another farce, for sure. I am challenging facts that, as presented in the government’s mine tragedy investigation reports, do not reconcile with the government’s own witness testimony—who were under oath—at my trial. How can I be challenging settled facts if the facts are disputed by the government itself?

The actions of Trip Gabriel, the author of the article, and his sidekicks are alarming. They are investigating the personal lives of private citizens, writing fictitious stories, and colluding with supporters of Super PACs and political candidates to undermine a fair election. The New York Times is nothing more than a combination of Pravda and the National Enquirer.

A person running for office in America should be allowed to run without the forces of the swamp, the funds of huge self-interested funders, the likes of Mitch McConnell, and the New York Times slandering them.

America sure does need a lot of help. If elected to the U.S. Senate I will do all I can to do just that.