Trump not planning to back Mississippi gov's pick to replace Sen. Cochran: report

White House officials reportedly told Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) this week that the president does not plan to endorse Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, the governor’s pick to fill the open seat being vacated by Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranEspy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid MORE (R).

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Administration officials told Bryant during a phone call Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE does not plan to campaign for or back Hyde-Smith, Politico reports, with officials voicing concerns that her previous Democratic affiliation could mean she loses the special election.

Hyde-Smith had switched parties in 2010 during her tenure in the state Senate. Bryant told the White House officials that he intended to pick her for the post despite Trump’s position, and he is expected to announce the pick on Wednesday, according to Politico. 


Although Trump does not plan to endorse Hyde-Smith, administration officials told the newspaper that the White House will continue to monitor the race.

Cochran, 80, is slated to resign from his seat effective April 1 due to health issues after serving in the Senate for nearly 40 years.

Some Republicans are reportedly worried that Chris McDaniel, an anti-establishment Republican running for the Senate seat, will use Hyde-Smith’s past as a Democrat against her in the race.

Their worries were exacerbated by polling available to GOP leaders from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that has Hyde-Smith currently in third place behind McDaniel and a probable Democratic candidate, Politico reported.

Trump and a number of Republicans had originally pushed Bryant to appoint himself to the Senate seat but he refused.

Hyde-Smith is currently Mississippi’s commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.

Trump previously considered Hyde-Smith to be his Agriculture secretary and she also served as co-chair of the Trump campaign’s agriculture advisory committee.  

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