Former President Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to remain highly involved in GOP politics and will support primary challengers against incumbent Republicans who served as stumbling blocks to him and his “America First” agenda.
One Republican who has earned the ire of Trump is Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and the former president just announced his plan to see her voted out of office in 2022, The Hill reported.
Murkowski has long been highly critical of Trump personally, on occasion had opposed his nominees and legislative proposals, and most recently voted in support of his conviction in the second impeachment trial that occurred in January.
Trump: Murkowski a “disloyal and very bad senator”
In a statement that was first reported by Politico, Trump said, “I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski.”
“She represents her state badly and her country even worse,” he continued. “I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
The former president offered up additional criticism of Murkowski’s committee vote of support for President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Interior Department, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), and said that vote was “yet another example of Murkowski not standing up for Alaska.”
Politico noted that Murkowski was the only Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to support Haaland, who has an anti-domestic energy production agenda that, if put into practice, could prove detrimental to the nation’s economy.
Not his first vow to campaign against Murkowski
Business Insider reported that this is far from the first time that Trump has called out Murkowski by name or vowed to oppose her bid to be re-elected as a senator from Alaska.
Indeed, during the summer of 2020, after Murkowski had publicly expressed how she was struggling to support Trump’s re-election bid, the then-president had tweeted at the time, “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.”
“Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!” he had added.
For her part, Murkowski is not oblivious to the potential ramifications of her open opposition to Trump. She told NPR following the impeachment vote, “I know that my actions, my vote may have political consequences. And I understand that. I absolutely understand that. But I can’t be afraid of that.”
It obviously remains to be seen just how hard Trump will work to unseat Murkowski and if she has sufficient support from Alaskans to withstand the effort, but it should make the upcoming primary season rather interesting to observe.