Report: Tea Party Campaign Knew Details About Nursing Home Break-In

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May 17, 2014 3:48 p.m.

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s campaign knew details about the break-in at the nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife lives before they were public.

Clayton Thomas Kelly, the political blogger supportive of McDaniel who is accused of sneaking into the nursing home and photographing Cochran’s wife, had “no relationship” with the campaign, according to McDaniel’s campaign staff.

But according to the Clarion-Ledger, McDaniel’s campaign manager, State Sen. Melanie Sojourner, called Cochran’s campaign manager on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. to offer her condolences about the break-in — about 90 minutes before the connection to the Cochrans became public.

Kelly had been arrested Friday, the Clarion-Ledger reported, but the initial reports did not mention Cochran’s wife, Rose, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home. That connection became known on Saturday morning when the Clarion-Ledger published a story — and after Sojourner made her call.

A McDaniel campaign spokesperson had said earlier that he knew nothing about Kelly’s arrest.

“I think it would be interesting to know how (Sojourner) would hear about it before 7:45 a.m.,” a Cochran spokesman told the newspaper.

Sojourner couldn’t be reached for comment by the Clarion-Ledger, and McDaniel’s campaign did not issue an immediate response.

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