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

Trump not planning to back Mississippi gov's pick to replace Sen. Cochran: report
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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 CochranGOP Senate candidate to African Americans: Stop begging for 'government scraps' Trump endorses Hyde-Smith in Mississippi Senate race GOP Senate candidate doubles down on Robert E. Lee despite Twitter poll MORE (R).

Administration officials told Bryant during a phone call Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 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. 

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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.