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Photo surfaces of Cindy Hyde-Smith posing with Confederate artifacts

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith posed with Confederate artifacts in photos from 2014 that emerged Tuesday,...

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 8:41 AM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 8:41 AM

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith posed with Confederate artifacts in photos from 2014 that emerged Tuesday, the latest in a series of controversial moments for the freshman Republican senator who is facing a run-off next week.

In a photo posted to her Facebook account in 2014, Hyde-Smith was pictured posing with Confederate artifacts. The caption on the post read, "Mississippi history at its best!"

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Hyde-Smith, who will face former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff election, posted the caption after touring Beauvoir, the home and library of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In the post, Hyde-Smith appears in four photos posing with Confederate rifles, soldiers' hats and documents.

"I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi," she wrote in the post on her Facebook page. "This is a must see. Currently on display are artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons. Mississippi history at its best!"

Mississippi was one of the southern states that seceded from the United States prior to the Civil War to form the Confederate States of America.

The photo and the caption referencing Mississippi's period in the Confederacy is another flashpoint for Hyde-Smith in the weeks leading up to her runoff election against Espy, who is black and would be the first African-American senator from Mississippi since Reconstruction. Hyde-Smith was appointed to the Senate earlier this year to replace Thad Cochran, who retired for health reasons.

At the time of the photo was taken, Hyde-Smith was the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.

The campaigns of Hyde-Smith and Espy did not immediately return a request for comment. The two will debate at 8 pm ET Tuesday.

In a video clip posted Thursday, Hyde-Smith said that making it "just a little more difficult" for some university students to vote was "a great idea."

"And then they remind me that there's a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don't want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that's a great idea," Hyde-Smith says in the video.

Hyde-Smith campaign spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said at the time, "Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited." The video includes no further context.

In another video posted earlier this month, Hyde-Smith made reference to a "public hanging," which conjured memories of public lynchings of African-Americans during the latter half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century.

"If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row," she said during what appeared to be a campaign event referencing the support of a Mississippi cattle rancher.

In a statement later that day, Hyde-Smith said that she "used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous."

Earlier on Tuesday, retail giant Walmart asked Hyde-Smith to return its donations to her campaign, joining Google, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific in rescinding their support of the Mississippi Republican.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119336

Reported Deaths: 3328
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8109180
DeSoto734280
Harrison553785
Jackson488488
Rankin412386
Madison388094
Lee368682
Forrest313478
Jones298484
Washington2644100
Lauderdale2611135
Lafayette256043
Lamar234040
Oktibbeha206055
Bolivar205279
Neshoba1883111
Lowndes182862
Leflore173088
Panola172241
Sunflower165949
Warren156656
Monroe154873
Pontotoc151520
Marshall150530
Lincoln144859
Pike140956
Copiah139936
Scott128129
Coahoma126537
Union126025
Yazoo124534
Simpson124049
Grenada123139
Tate123039
Pearl River117960
Itawamba117827
Leake117042
Holmes115160
Adams110245
Prentiss109520
Alcorn105012
Wayne103422
George103020
Covington99729
Marion96944
Tippah95124
Hancock88128
Newton88128
Chickasaw87028
Winston85921
Tallahatchie85826
Tishomingo83141
Attala80927
Clarke78353
Clay71522
Jasper69817
Walthall64827
Calhoun63613
Smith60816
Noxubee60317
Yalobusha56616
Montgomery56523
Lawrence55314
Claiborne54216
Tunica53917
Perry52823
Carroll50912
Stone49814
Greene48218
Humphreys45817
Amite43413
Jefferson Davis42412
Quitman4246
Webster38213
Benton36911
Wilkinson34321
Kemper33415
Sharkey29115
Jefferson28110
Franklin2533
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 162720

Reported Deaths: 2735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23940385
Mobile17123319
Tuscaloosa10602141
Montgomery10503199
Madison955798
Shelby760565
Baldwin676869
Lee664965
Calhoun476562
Marshall447451
Etowah441952
Morgan430835
Houston423934
DeKalb355429
Elmore327858
St. Clair311342
Limestone297031
Walker287493
Talladega276437
Cullman266525
Lauderdale240543
Jackson225317
Autauga212631
Colbert210232
Franklin209432
Blount200925
Russell19833
Chilton192332
Dallas189227
Dale184952
Coffee183611
Covington177329
Escambia175831
Clarke138717
Chambers138047
Tallapoosa137287
Pike136414
Marion110931
Barbour10559
Marengo104622
Butler101941
Winston94713
Geneva9427
Pickens89018
Lawrence88533
Bibb86115
Randolph84616
Hale78130
Cherokee76414
Clay76312
Washington75812
Henry7316
Lowndes72128
Monroe66310
Bullock65117
Crenshaw61230
Fayette59913
Perry5996
Cleburne5799
Conecuh57213
Wilcox57112
Macon54320
Lamar5235
Sumter48621
Choctaw39512
Greene34516
Coosa2173
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