Murkowski says she is 'struggling' with whether to support Trump during the election

The senator has long been viewed as a moderate

Updated: June 4, 2020 - 4:07pm

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Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday that she is "struggling" with whether to support President Trump's 2020 reelection, saying she has been searching for "the right words" to describe how she feels about the president.

Murkowski cited a recent statement by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in which he argues Trump is trying to "divide us" and that America is during the past 10 days of protests are "the consequences of three years of (Trump's) deliberate effort."

Murkowski said Mattis's statement was "true, and honest and necessary and overdue."

"I am struggling with it," she told reporters of her concerns over supporting Trump in November. "I have struggled with it for a long time, I think you know that. I didn't support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I'm able to represent my state well that I'm able to work with any administration and any president."

"He is our duly elected president, I will continue to work with him. 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 not going to vote for I think are distracting at the moment."

Murkowski's party contrarianism made headlines a few years ago when, during the acrimonious hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, she first voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination and then voted "present" during the final confirmation.

She voted present, she said, so a fellow senator would not have to leave his daughter's wedding to cast his own vote.