In 2020, Republican senators who are willing to openly criticize President Donald Trump are a rarity — and even those who have some nuance politically don't part company with him very often. One such GOP senator is Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who said this week that she is "struggling" with whether or not to support Trump in this year's presidential election.
During the George Floyd protests, Murkowski has expressed her agreement with former Defense Secretary James Mattis — who slammed Trump as dangerously authoritarian and voiced support for nonviolent protestors. Murkowski, on Thursday, applauded Mattis for speaking out and described his assertions as "true, honest, necessary and overdue."
The senator told the Washington Post's Paul Kane, "When I saw Gen. Mattis' comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we're getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions and speak up."
Murkowski was asked if she agreed with Mattis' complaint that Trump "does not even pretend to try" to unite the country, and she responded, "Yes, I do." And when the subject of whether or not she would support Trump's re-election came up, Murkowski said, "I'm struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time."
Murkowski, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, has voted with Trump more often than not but has been lambasted by far-right Trump supporters when she parted company with him — for example, Trump supporters believe that the Alaska senator committed unforgivable sins when she voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare, in 2017 and voted against Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court the following year. However, earlier this year, Murkowski voted "not guilty" when Trump faced two articles of impeachment in his Senate trial.