Sen. Lisa Murkowski and President Donald Trump have had an uneasy relationship, but now it’s officially on the rocks.
Trump wrote on Twitter today that he intends to campaign against Murkowski in two years when she is up for reelection.
The very public slam came after Murkowski said today that she had doubts about being able to support the president, and added that comments made by Gen. James Mattis had given her the courage to speak up.
“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 was quoted.
Murkowski has long held Trump at arm’s length, and politicos have remarked that she shows distaste for the president. But voted to acquit him during the impeachment trial this winter.
However, her remarks today came during a particularly divisive time in the nation, when rioters have torn cities apart over the perception of police brutality, sparked by the police murder of George Floyd. And leftists have blamed Trump for creating division in the nation, rather than knitting it together.
When asked if she would be supporting Trump, Murkowski waffled:
“I am struggling with it,” she said. “I have struggled with it for a long time.”
There’s no certainty that Murkowski will actually run in 2022, or that Trump will be president then and have the political muscle to use against her.
Murkowski became a senator in 2002, after her father, Sen. Frank Murkowski, won the office of governor of Alaska and then appointed her to fill out his term. She is among the more senior of senators and could become chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee next year, depending on the outcome of elections and the fortunes of other senators such as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing a tough reelection battle this year and ranks at the bottom of popularity for senators facing reelection. Murkowski ranks eighth in seniority among Republican senators.