Murkowski: Trump has ‘threatened to do a lot’ to those who stand up to him
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) acknowledged the ways in which her opposition to former President Trump during his tenure in office could impact the 2022 Alaska midterms.
During an interview that aired Friday with Alaska Landmine Radio, Murkowski, a GOP moderate, said that former President Trump has “threatened to do a lot” to his detractors, even those in his own party.
The veteran senator has served in the upper chamber since 2002 but during Friday’s interview would not confirm whether she would run for reelection in 2022. Radio host Jeff Landfield said that the race for her seat in the Senate would be closely watched.
“It will be. I think one of the things that I’ve learned is that none of the races that I’ve been part of have ever really been easy or ordinary. This will probably prove to be much, much along those lines,” Murkowski said. “I know that former President Trump is skeptical about me and the job that I do for Alaska, but I really think that that’s for Alaskans to judge.”
“Do you think he’s going to come up here?” Landfield asked.
Murkowski appeared to brush off past threats the president has made and characterized them as “idle.”
“You know, he’s threatened to. He’s threatened to do a lot to those who have stood up to him, and sometimes there’s some carry-through, and sometimes maybe it’s just idle words or idle threats, but I can’t let that influence what I do and how I do it and who I do it for,” Murkowski said.
“At the end of the day, I’m not doing this job because I want or need the title. I do it because Alaskans have given me their support and have asked me to do the best job that I can and the best of my ability and to stand up with an independent voice,” she continued.
Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict the former president for his role in inciting a group of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. The other GOP senators included Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.)
In a statement following her vote to convict Trump, she said, “President Trump did everything in his power to stay in power. When the court challenges failed, he turned up the pressure on state officials and his own Department of Justice. And when these efforts failed, he turned to his supporters. … The speech he gave on that day was intended to stoke passions in a crowd that the President had been rallying for months.”
“President Trump allowing the violence to go on for hours without any clear directive or demand for peace – his intentional silence – cost Americans their lives,” she added at the time.
Trump already endorsed a primary challenger to the Alaskan incumbent in June, former Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka.
“Murkowski has got to go!” Trump said in a statement released by his leadership PAC Save America. “Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski — and she will. Kelly is a fighter who stands for Alaska values and America First.”
During the interview, Murkowski also discussed her experience during the Jan. 6 attack after Landfield brought up a New York Times video montage showing different moments during the insurrection.
She refuted the idea that the people participating in the Jan. 6 attack were “an assembly of tourists” — appearing to reference a comment made by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), downplaying the event.
“Those people who would suggest that this was just an assembly of tourists, Trump supporters — like a rally — it was not,” she said. “It was, it was violent. It was deadly violent, and as you can clearly see it was intended to be so.”