Mississippi: Cochran to retire? US Sen. Thad Cochran (R), chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, may retire after January 1, 2018, either from his committee chair or from the Senate altogether, according to unnamed Republican Senators quoted in Politico. Cochran, 80, has not been at all active recently, neither presiding over his committee nor giving floor speeches or introducing bills. His office says Cochran “has not made any plans” to retire ……. Tennessee: Corker, Hatch deny real estate tax deal. US Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said that a provision in the tax reform bill that favored owners of real estate, including US Sen. Bob Corker (R), originated in the House and that Corker never advocated it, reports The Tennessee Journal. House GOP leaders agreed. Corker said he wasn’t aware of the provision until a story in the International Business Times alleged the provision was inserted to get Corker’s support for the tax reform measure ……. Florida: Trump praises DeSantis. “Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and Harvard Law,” President Trump tweeted last Friday, inserting himself into a competitive GOP gubernatorial primary. Trump added that DeSantis “would make a GREAT governor of Florida.” Two other Republicans are also expected to run, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran …….