Trump in Tupelo and Biloxi touts Hyde-Smith, immigration; avoids ‘public hanging’ comment


Alex Brandon / Associated PressPresident Donald Trump steps off Air Force One with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., at Tupelo Regional Airport, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Tupelo, Miss.
President Donald Trump did not address incendiary remarks made by interim Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith as he campaigned for her Monday in Tupelo and Biloxi on the eve of Tuesday’s runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy.
Speaking outside – between the Tupelo Regional Airport terminal and the runway on a chilly day – Trump called his fellow Republican, “a very special, special woman who is going to do a special job.” Inside the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Trump said Hyde-Smith “is respected by all” in Washington.
Trump held rallies in Tupelo and Biloxi on Monday to campaign for Hyde-Smith as Espy appears to have gained momentum in recent days, thanks at least in part to controversial comments Hyde-Smith has made on the campaign trail.
In a stop in Tupelo in early October, Hyde-Smith said in voicing support for a supporter that she would be on the front row of a public hanging if invited by him and the next day at Mississippi State University voiced support for suppressing “liberal voters” at other state schools.
Hyde-Smith, who eventually apologized, said she was only joking.
After his stop in Tupelo, Trump traveled to Biloxi for a second Mississippi rally.
Trump, who is known for his own incendiary comments, attacked the media at the rallies, touted the economy and vowed to protect the country from illegal immigration.
“Build the wall,” the crowd, estimated at 5,000 by some, chanted in Tupelo as if on cue.
The crowd began to gather about noon at the airport on a cloudless, brisk day.
It oohed as the blue and white plane, not the standard-sized aircraft because of the size of the Tupelo airport, landed and taxied to a stop right in front of