President Trump said he would campaign against Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska in 2022 after she told reporters she was “struggling” to support the president in his reelection because of how he handled the George Floyd protests.
"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," Trump tweeted Thursday night.
"Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!" he later added.
Murkowski had earlier Thursday told reporters she believed former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ comments on the President earlier this week “were true and honest and necessary and overdue.”
In an article for The Atlantic, Mattis said Trump has threatened the U.S. Constitution and deliberately divided Americans, contributing to the recent nationwide protests and general unrest following Floyd's May 25 death while in police custody.
“The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values -- our values as people and our values as a nation,” Mattis said in the article, published Wednesday. “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people -- does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis added. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
Murkowski said she was “thankful” for Mattis’ criticism of Trump.
“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,” she said. “And have the courage of our own convictions to speak up.”
Murkowski has been critical of Trump and has not always sided with the administration, as Trump pointed out, highlighting her vote against the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
But Murkowski did vote with GOP senators earlier this year to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment.
“He is our duly elected president [and] I will continue to work with him,” she said. “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 or not going to vote for, I think, are distracting at the moment.”