A Republican swing-vote senator told reporters shes “struggling” to continue to support GOP President Donald Trump after a broadside launched by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
“I thought General Mattiss words were true and honest and necessary and overdue,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in Washington on Thursday.
“When I saw Gen. Mattiss comments yesterday I felt like perhaps were 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.”
Asked if she will vote for Trump, who is running for a second term, in November, Murkowski added: “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”
For now, she said, she will keep working with the Trump administration.
Other Republicans also criticized Trumps actions on Monday, including Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told reporters that Mattis letter was “stunning and powerful,” describing Mattis as an American patriot.
“I think the world of him. If I ever had to choose somebody to be in a foxhole with, it would be with General Mattis,” Romney added.
Other lawmakers defended Trump.
“Look at what the president has done: he has called the family, he has ordered a federal investigation, he has offered the resources to the mayors and the governors all around the country,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
“Hes trying to make sure that we have peaceful protest but we dont have, basically, people looting and injuring people and tearing up property.”
“Everybody can say whatever they want, but I think the presidents trying to do the right thing, hes trying to keep us safe,” the senator added, calling it a “tough time” to be president or be in politics in other positions.
Mattis announced his resignation after Trump decided to pull troops from Syria in December 2018.
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