Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear on Tuesday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's pick for a Senate seat will have the full backing of the Republican establishment, sending a clear message that anyone who challenges Kelly Loeffler will face the full weight of the GOP machine.

Kemp, a Republican, is expected to appoint Loeffler on Wednesday to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a highly divisive move in the Republican Party. President Donald Trump was pushing for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and conservative groups lambasted Loeffler as wobbly on social issues. Collins has declined to rule out running in the primary for the seat in next year's special election.

But McConnell said Loeffler would be treated as an incumbent and would enjoy full backing from the National Republican Senatorial Committee and sitting senators.

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