White House reportedly opposes Gov. Bryant’s decision to appoint Cindy Hyde-Smith to Senate

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2018

President Donald Trump reportedly has no plans to endorse Cindy Hyde-Smith—appointed today by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s soon-to-be vacant seat—in November’s special election.

Politico reports White House officials told Bryant this week there was concern regarding Hyde-Smith’s history as a Democrat (she switched parties in 2010) and whether that would hurt her chances in the special election against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, adding that Trump’s support wouldn’t be guaranteed should she be appointed.

Bryant went ahead with his decision, making a formal announcement Wednesday in Brookhaven—Hyde-Smith’s hometown.

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When asked about the phone call between Bryant and White House officials, the governor’s spokesperson Clay Chandler told Politico that Bryant won’t respond to “leaks from unnamed sources in Washington.”

“Today is about Mississippi making history, and Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith becoming Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith when she is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence,” Chandler said.

A group of supporters backing Chris McDaniel called on Trump to oppose Hyde-Smith’s appointment through an open letter published Wednesday.

“Our concern is that you are not being well served by the political advice you may be getting from leadership in Congress,” the letter reads. “We don’t want what happened in Alabama or Pennsylvania-18 to happen here in Mississippi. Both of those races were disastrous for the Republican Party.”

Read Politico’s full report.