Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska broke with many of her Republican colleagues Thursday, applauding an op-ed by retired Gen. James Mattis that condemned President Donald Trump’s actions this week.
“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,” Murkowksi said on Capitol Hill.
The comments were a stark contrast to many of her other Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill who argued that while Mattis had a right to disagree with Trump, they didn’t agree with Mattis’ assessment.
“I was really thankful. I thought General Mattis’ words were true, and honest and necessary and overdue,” Murkowski said. “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.”
Murkowski, a Republican who has demonstrated an independent voting streak in the Senate, told reporters Thursday that she was still “struggling” with a decision about whether she would support Trump in November.
“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.”
The President fired back in a series of tweets Thursday night, promising to back any candidate against Murkowski during her reelection campaign 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 said.
“Unrelated, I gave Alaska ANWR, major highways, and more. Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”