Heard on the Hill

Murkowski Accidentally Called Trump’s Direct Line

Alaska Republican asked Trump, ‘To whom am I speaking?’

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not initially realize she had called Donald Trump on his cell phone. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski wanted to talk to President-elect Donald Trump back in November, but she didn’t intend to get him directly on the phone.

Right after the election, she wanted Trump to consider “some of the individuals that we had hoped could be part of an energy team, specifically some Alaskans,” she told a scrum of reporters on Tuesday

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“So I called him up,” she said.

Murkowski said she “didn’t really think I was going to get him on the telephone because it was a Saturday morning at noon and I was five time zones away. I figured I was going to get an answering machine, and he answered the phone. Directly.”

“Did you call his cell?” one reporter asked.

“Apparently so! I thought it was his office,” she said. “I thought I was going to get his secretary and I got him. And that’s exactly what I said.”

A reporter asked: “You said, ‘Wow?’”

“Yeah! Which really wasn’t very dignifying,” Murkowski said. “He was very, very nice. But when you say, ‘Hi, this is Lisa Murkowski from Alaska’ and he says, ‘Oh hey, great to talk to you.’ I literally said, ‘And to whom am I speaking?’”

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She called her faux pas “really embarrassing.”

“I had not had my first cup of coffee and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m talking to the president-elect,’” the senator recalled.

But overall, Murkowski said, they had a good conversation.

On Wednesday, the Alaska Republican said she would vote against Trump’s pick for Education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

Jeremy Dillon contributed to this report.

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