Sen. Lisa Murkowski unsure if she can back Trump
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski again broke with her Republican colleagues on Thursday by applauding comments made by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis that denounced President Donald Trump’s actions during the recent riots.
“When I saw General Mattis’ comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we are getting to a point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” Murkowski said to reporters.
“I was really thankful. I thought General Mattis’ words were true, and honest and necessary and overdue,” Murkowski continued. “And, I have been struggling for the right words, and I was encouraged a couple of nights ago when I was able to read what President Bush had written. And I found that to be empowering for me as one leader.”
The comments were much different from many Republicans on Capitol Hill who have said they don’t agree with Mattis’ assessment.
Murkowski has a very independent voting streak in the Senate. When asked if she would be supporting Trump’s reelection she paused.
“I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time I think you know that. I didn’t support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I’m able to represent my state well that I’m able to work with any administration and any president,” Murkowski said. “He is our duly elected president, I will continue to work with him. I will continue to work with this administration but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately, questions about who I’m going to vote for not going to vote for I think are distracting at the moment.”
Sen. Mitt Romney who voted for impeachment, also praised Mattis.
“General Mattis’ letter was stunning and powerful. General Mattis is a man of extraordinary sacrifice. He’s an American patriot; he’s an individual whose judgment I respect,” Romney said. “And I think the world of him. If I ever had to choose someone to be in a foxhole with, it would be with General Mattis. What a wonderful man.”
In typical Trump fashion he launched a tweet Thursday night promising to support anyone who challenged Murkowski in 2022.
“Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska, which I love, campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski. She voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump didn’t mention any specific individual he’d like to see run against Murkowski. He said if a candidate had a pulse then he’d be with them.
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