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Walmart seeks refund for campaign donation to controversial GOP senator

Walmart wants its money back.

The discount giant has asked the campaign of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi to return its campaign contribution after the senator praised a supporter at a campaign event by saying, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

Hyde-Smith later said the statement was made in jest and denied any racial connotation. (Last week, another video surfaced in which Hyde-Smith said it might be a "great idea" to make it harder for some people to vote. Her campaign said she was making a joke.)

Walmart donated $2,000 to the senator, who is campaigning in a runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy, who is black, on Nov. 27. In June, Walmart had given Hyde-Smith’s campaign a $1,000 donation.

Walmart released its statement via Twitter on Tuesday, in response to actress Debra Messing, one of the stars of television program “Will and Grace,” who posted an article in which she pointed out that Walmart made its donation to Hyde-Smith about a week after the hanging comments became public in a video.

Here is Walmart’s tweet: 

In addition to Walmart, AT&T, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific have asked for their campaign donations to Hyde-Smith be returned.
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