Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski expressed support for former Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday after he criticized President Donald Trump.
Murkowski described Mattis’s statement, which said Trump was a threat to the Constitution, as “true and honest and necessary” before saying that she has struggled with the decision over whether she will vote for the president in November.
“When I saw Gen. Mattis’ comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns we might hold internally and have the courage of our convictions and speak up,” she told The Washington Post.
Pressed further on her comment regarding Trump and the 2020 presidential election, Murkowski said she has “struggled with it for a long time.”
Trump is the “duly elected president,” and Murkowski will “continue to work with him” and “continue to work with this administration,” she said.
Murkowski had expressed concern over Trump’s handling of protests that have spread across the country over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, video of the incident shows. (RELATED: Monday Night Protests Were Largely Peaceful In Washington, DC)
“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 said.
Murkowski and Mattis drew concern over the president’s threat to call in active members of the military in an effort to prevent protests from turning violent. While Murkowski made sure to emphasize the importance of continuing to work with Trump and his administration to get results for Americans, Mattis offered a different assessment.
“Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict — between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect.”
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