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Donald Trump Draws 12,000 at Campaign Rally in West Virginia, Talks Coal and General Election

Presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of more than 12,000 people in West Virginia at the Charleston Civic Center on Thursday night.

It was his first campaign rally since being declared the presumed Republican nominee after winning the Indiana primary on Tuesday.

“I want the primaries to keep going,” Trump told the crowd, saying it’s no fun this way as the only one. “Save your vote, you know you don’t have to vote anymore. Save your vote for the general election in November.”

“We’re going to put the miners back to work. We’re going to get those mines open!” Trump promised, pumping up the crowd.

“Over the past six-and-a-half years of the Obama Administration, West Virginia’s coal industry has seen production decline by 29 percent,” West Virginia Coal Association president Bill Raney noted. “Direct mining employment has dropped from 23,000 to just 14,000 and tax collections are now falling.”

The West Virginia Coal Association endorsed Trump on Thursday.

“How about Hillary Clinton? I was watching her three or four weeks ago.” Trump said as the crowd booed. Trump was referencing an earlier statement by Clinton saying, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Trump said she wants to put miners out of work, but he wants to get them back to work.

“West Virginia Coal Association just endorsed me. Lets put it this way, it was between me and Hillary and we really affectionally call her crooked Hillary,” Trump said, commenting on his recent endorsement. “And you know, how long they said they were in the room, about twenty seconds, that’s how long it took.”

“I’ve just always been fascinated by the mines,” the real estate mogul said, adding he’s also fascinated by the courage of miners and how they love what they do. “If I win, we’re going to bring those miners back. You’re going to be so proud of your president.”

Trump said he’s planning to help raise money for the Republican Party and hinted that he might have help from the party during the general election.

“I don’t take the contributions,” Trump said of his primary campaign and how the establishment couldn’t take all the winning. “And by the way, for the general election, I’m going to help raise money for the party and they’ll work with us, but we’re going too need — I hear the Democrats are going to raise $2 billion.”

“I’m also going to put a lot of money in the general, but we’re helping to raise money … for the party and we’re going to get a whole lot of other people elected with us,” Trump added.

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