Politics

Murkowski Pushes Back on Trump

Comes after Murkowski and Sullivan faced threats

An Alaska news outlet reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, above, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, received a threatening phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke due to Murkowski's vote against the Republican health care bill.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed back against President Donald Trump amid reports that his administration supposedly threatened retribution for her opposition to the health care bill.

Murkowski's words come as her vote against repealing the 2010 health care law led to her and fellow Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan both received a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke saying that the vote could harm the state’s future, Alaska Dispatch News reported.

“I’m not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Sullivan said.

But Murkowski pushed back on the criticism from Trump, saying in a statement that she pledged that she would work with the president to further the state's interest

"While I have disagreed with the Senate process so far, the President and I agree that the status quo with healthcare in our country is not acceptable and that reforms must be made," she said.

Murkowski said the best way forward is to have a committee process to allow discussion.

Some of the issues that could possibly be stalled are nominations of Alaskans to jobs in the Department of Interior, building roads, and expanding drilling.

Murkowski had been criticized by Trump on Twitter on Wednesday for her vote on health care.

Similarly, Murkowski and Republican Sen. Susan Collins were criticized by Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold for stalling health care legislation and said if they were men “I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”

Burr, the former Vice President, infamously shot Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804.

Despite the increased pressure, Murkowski dismissed the supposed threats.

“I base my votes on what I believe is in Alaska’s best interest,” she said.

Asked about Trump’s tweets, Murkowski said, “I don’t really follow Twitter that much.”

“You know I am comfortable with the decision that I made yesterday in working to advance Alaska’s interests and working today to do the same,” she said.

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