Brad White, Chief of Staff for ailing 79-year-old Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), confirmed to The Clarion Ledger, Mississippi’s leading daily newspaper, that the senator “was provided [a wheelchair] at the Capitol in an abundance of caution, because he is recovering and because he has to go so far to get from place to place there.”
“He walked to the plane, got onto and off of the plane walking, then walked up the steps . . . All the time I’ve been around him, he has not had to use a wheelchair. Again, that was out of an abundance of caution,” White told The Clarion Ledger in an article published Wednesday afternoon.
The Clarion Ledger’s report continued:
Many national politicos had wondered whether Cochran would be able to chair a scheduled Senate Appropriations meeting set for Thursday.
White said the meeting has been canceled, but not because of Cochran. He said Senate leadership decided to cancel the Appropriations meeting because of a planned overnight “vote-a-rama” Thursday in the Senate on the budget and proposed GOP tax cuts.
“I’m almost sure they will schedule the (Appropriations) mark-ups for sometime next week,” White said. “That decision to postpone was made after (Cochran) was already back.”
Rumors about Cochran’s health and possible resignation continued to circulate on Wednesday.
White pushed back against those rumors.
“I don’t mind telling you, he [Senator Cochran] has never expressed anything other than his desire to get better and return to the Senate and continue serving the people of the state of Mississippi,” White told The Clarion Ledger.
Breitbart News asked Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican, to confirm or deny rumors that he was already engaged in conversations with potential replacements for Cochran should he resign, but the governor’s spokesperson did not respond to our inquiries. Under Mississippi law, the governor appoints a replacement when a U.S. senator from the state resigns or dies in office. The replacement serves until a special election can be held at the next regularly scheduled general election.