A press call from Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) campaign dissolved into chaos Wednesday when the password and conference number were shared publicly on Twitter by a local blogger.
Cochran campaign adviser Austin Barbour cancelled the call about 10 minutes in after a caller kept interrupting to ask why Cochran was “harvesting black votes like black people harvesting cotton.” After several requests to hold questions for the end, Barbour announced that national media was welcome to call with any questions, but he could no longer go on.
The unmuted callers quickly dove into a rant, with many claiming to be state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) supporters. More callers continued to join for the next 45 minutes, even after a several people suggested that the group was doing McDaniel no favors.
Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell tweeted after the call: “The plus side of that episode is now the national media sees what type of people we have to deal with day to day.” (Hotline reporting)
RECOUNT: Before ending the call, Barbour said the Cochran campaign was disputing the McDaniel campaign’s “invalid vote” count, which now ranges in the thousands. Barbour said their opponents were reporting hundreds of duplicate votes from Democrats who had already voted in the primary, many of which came from precincts with single or double digit vote counts in the first election.
MONEY: The FEC is requesting more information from the pro-Cochran Super PAC Mississippi Conservatives, because of what appears to be campaign finance violations.
“The FEC letter states the committee may have failed to file one or more of the required 24-hour report(s) regarding ‘last minute’ independent expenditures. Specifically, the committee did not file a 24-hour report for a $15,000 payment on May 30th to Scott Howell & Company as an independent expenditures against Chris McDaniel.” (Roll Call)
FIGHTING WORDS: A source on the Cochran campaign called McDaniel a “clinically diagnosable narcissist,” “the sorest loser I’ve ever seen,” and “basically Joel Osteen.”
The comments came as McDaniel sent an email asking for donations to assist him with his challenge efforts, suggesting Cochran “stole” the election. (Business Insider)
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"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.