Former President Donald Trump endorsed the primary opponent of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Friday, months after the Alaska moderate voted to convict him on a charge of incitement of insurrection.
“Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,” Trump said in a statement. He cited Murkowski’s vote to approve President Biden’s choice for interior secretary, Deb Haaland, who was later confirmed, as the reason for his decision, stating that Murkowski’s approval was tantamount to voting to kill the “ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]” and “Alaska jobs.”
The former president expressed his support for her opponent, and called her a fighter for Alaska values. “Kelly Tshibaka is the candidate who can beat Murkowski — and she will.”
Trump described Tshibaka as “pro-energy, strong on the border,” and “MAGA all the way.” According to the bioreports, she promoted Trump’s false voter fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election last year and met with Trump two weeks ago at Trump Tower to secure his endorsement.
Sen. Murkowski was among seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He was acquitted of the lone charge following the incident. In February, she said she understood the potential political fallout, saying she “can’t be afraid of that.”
Murkowski and some of her colleagues were censured by their states’ party officials. But she’s the only one in the group who will go before voters next year and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the party will back her reelection bid.
Despite the support, she criticized McConnell in May for attempting to block the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the riot. Senate Republicans were successful in stopping the measure that passed the House.
Trump said that he will head to Alaska in his effort to oust Murkowski in 2022. “I look forward to campaigning in Alaska for Kelly Tshibaka,” he said. “She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
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