I have read the Washington Post front page story Murkowski calls Mattis’s rebuke of Trump true as many Republicans distance themselves from the former defense secretary and it shows that Murkowski came out strong — especially for a sitting Republican senator:

“I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue,” Murkowski told reporters at the Capitol, adding that she had been “struggling” to find the right words to express her feelings about Trump’s presidency. [emphasis added]

True. Honest. Necessary. Overdue. Those words are blunt, they are strong, they are a red flag to Trump’s bull. After all, this comes on the heels of Trump’s dismissal of Mattis as “the world’s most overrated general” who had “begged” him for the SecDef job. The Washington Post calls this “a major break with President Donald Trump. . . .”

“When I saw Gen. Mattis’s 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's Paul Kane, who pooled the remarks and sent them to other Senate reporters. thehill.com/…

I started this diary because there is another one already scolding Murkowski for saying she is “struggling”: Sen. Murkowski is struggling to say something about Trump that is on the rec list. I think her use of “struggle” has to be read in context:

Asked if she can still support Trump, Murkowski said, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”
“He is duly elected our president,” she said. “I will continue to work with him. I will continue to work with this administration.” [WaPo]

The Hill reports that the question was really whether she could vote for Trump in November.

Asked if she could vote for Trump in the 2020 election, Murkowski admitted, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”


“I think right now … questions about who I’m going to vote for, who I’m not going to vote for, I think, are distracting to the moment,” said Murkowski, who said she’d continue to try to work with the Trump administration. “I know people might think that’s a dodge,” she added, “but I think there are important conversations that we need to have as an American people amongst ourselves about where we are right now.” www.latimes.com/…

OK. Alaska is not going to give Joe Biden its 3 electoral votes just because its senior senator says so. But her hometown paper, the Anchorage Daily News, has it up as its top story: Murkowski calls Mattis rebuke of Trump ‘necessary and overdue,’ says she’s ‘struggling’ with whether to support president and mentions that she had said in the 2016 election that she wouldn’t vote for him.

Given the way Trump viciously attacks any Republican who so much as looks at him crosswise, and given how increasingly unhinged he is becoming every day, I count it as a courageous stand on the senator’s part, and perhaps, just perhaps, she may get a few other Republicans to stand with her. (I mean, a guy can hope.)

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