Trump campaign lobbied Ohio GOP to bail out coal plants in shameless bid to save 2020 election: report
US President Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia that alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election is a "fake story" that is "demeaning to all of us" (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)

The coal industry is still struggling in the United States despite President Donald Trump's pledges to end the so-called "war on coal."

Given this, it would be very politically inconvenient for the president if any other coal plants shut down between now and the 2020 election -- and a new report from Politico claims that the Ohio Republican Party is trying to put its thumb on the scales to keep these plants open.

According to the publication's sources, Trump campaign senior adviser Bob Paduchik this week directly lobbied lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at shoring up struggling coal and nuclear plants with the explicit goal of helping the president's reelection campaign.

"The message is that if we have these plants shut down we can’t get Trump reelected," one official described as a "senior legislative source" explained to Politico. "We’re going into an election year, we can’t lose the jobs."

In total, the bill allotted $300 million worth of subsidies for two nuclear plants and two coal plants in Ohio, a key Midwestern state that swung from former President Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. It passed in the Ohio House of Representatives this week by a vote of 53 in favor to 43 against.