Murkowski doesn’t rule out leaving GOP

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) suggested she is not ruling out leaving the GOP, pointing to its shift toward former President Trump.

“I wish that as Republicans, we had a nominee that I could get behind. I certainly can’t get behind Donald Trump,” she said in an interview on “Inside Politics With Manu Raju.”

When asked if she is considering an independent run, the Alaska lawmaker kept her cards close to her chest, telling Raju, “Oh, I think I’m very independent-minded. I just regret that our party is seemingly becoming a party of Trump.”

Pressed further on whether she is “officially” considering an independent bid, she said, “I am navigating my way through some very interesting political times, so let’s just leave it at that.”

The interview comes after the Alaska Republican said earlier this month that she “could not” vote for either Trump or President Biden, who are their respective parties’ presumptive nominees.

She instead endorsed former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who later suspended her GOP presidential bid following a series of primary losses to Trump.

Murkowski is one of the party’s most outspoken critics of Trump and was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment in 2021.

When asked by Raju about Trump’s description of imprisoned Jan. 6 rioters as “hostages,” Murkowski said, “What happened on Jan. 6 was an effort by people who stormed the building in an effort to stop an election.”

Late last year, she argued Trump’s comments about immigrants are “poisoning our country” after the former president claimed immigrants were “poisoning the blood” of the country.

Trump’s grip on the GOP conference on Capitol Hill has strengthened in recent months, with Republicans in both the House and Senate increasingly throwing their support behind the former president’s reelection bid.

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