By Mahita Gajanan
November 27, 2018

Google has asked Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith to refund its $5,000 campaign contribution in light of controversy surrounding racially insensitive remarks the Mississippi Republican made earlier this month.

“We can confirm this is accurate,” a Google spokesperson told TIME.

The refund request comes as Hyde-Smith faces the fallout for her comments about attending a “public hanging” during a campaign stop on Nov. 2.

“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be in the front row,” Hyde-Smith said in reference to one of her supporters.

She faces Mike Espy, a black Democrat, in a runoff election Tuesday.

She has also joked about voter suppression, saying earlier in November that “maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult” for “liberal folks” to vote.

Both comments have been widely interpreted as racist. Mississippi has a long history of racially-motivated lynchings of black people and of suppressing voters.

Representatives for Google did not say when the company made its donation to Hyde-Smith’s campaign or when a refund was requested. The tech giant joins several companies and groups that have requested refunds from Hyde-Smith’s campaign, including Major League Baseball and Walmart.

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.

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