by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 7, 2021) — In a post on Gab.com Monday evening, 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump said for at least the third time that he will pursue unseating U.S. Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski (R), who he said has “cost the great people of Alaska billions and billions of dollars by voting for Radical Left Biden appointees.”
As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in early March Murkowski voted in favor of former U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D) for Biden’s Interior Secretary despite what Murkowski said was Haaland’s “opposition to resource development on public lands,” an issue of significant importance to the state of Alaska.
In his statement Monday, Trump maintained that Mukowski’s decisions resulted in the Interior Department’s cancellation of leases for oil- and gas-drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or “ANWR,” last week.
“Senator Lisa Murkowski has cost the great people of Alaska billions and billions of dollars by voting for Radical Left Biden appointees, which in turn led to the revocation of ANWR drilling, which Alaskans have been fighting to see happen for six decades,” Trump wrote. “Not only did Murkowski kill the biggest economic stimulant for the State, but also one of the biggest energy producing sites in the world.”
According to KTOO on Monday, “Trump’s statement doesn’t mention it, but Sen. Dan Sullivan also voted to confirm Haaland. Congressman Don Young crossed the Capitol to urge senators at her confirmation hearing to support her. All of them are ardent supporters of drilling in the refuge.”
On February 3, Murkowski said on the floor of the Senate that she would vote against convicting Trump at his second impeachment trial arising from his January 6 remarks to approximately a million supporters at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. Trump addressed the crowd as Congress prepared to count the electoral votes reported by each governor and secretary of state from the November 3 election which favored Democrat Joe Biden over Trump.
Beginning on November 4, Trump and his campaign claimed he won the election “in a landslide” despite Biden’s having been declared the victor in six key “swing” states following unexplained infusions of tens of thousands of votes overnight. Trump has encouraged those states — Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada — to conduct forensic audits of the election to uncover what he and others maintain was massive fraud fueled by an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arizona Republicans are currently conducting a forensic audit of the election in Maricopa County to include a recounting and examination of all 2.1 million ballots cast as well as investigation of the machines used to tabulate votes.
Despite her claim to oppose Trump’s conviction in the Senate, the following week, Murkowski voted in favor, along with six of her Republican Senate colleagues. The Alaska Republican Party then publicly censured Murkowski and said it would seek a primary challenger to replace her.
In its lengthy statement, the Party deemed Murkowski out-of-step with its members and for what it said was “in the best interests of the State of Alaska,” declaring itself in opposition to her vote to convict Trump on February 13, 2021.
Murkowski was appointed to the Senate seat by her father, who himself had held it until successfully running for Alaska governor in 2002. “Although she won three Senate elections, none was ever by a majority,” The Washington Examiner reported on April 10. “Murkowski faced her toughest reelection to date in 2010, which led to her mounting a successful write-in campaign for the Senate seat in the general election.”
On April 9, the Senate Leadership Fund endorsed Murkowski, praising her as “a champion for conservative values in Washington” and for what it said is her “strong leadership.”
On March 29, former U.S. Justice Department attorney and Alaska Department of Administration commissioner Kelly Tshibaka declared her candidacy for the Senate by entering the Republican primary, having recently resigned from her latter position under Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R).
Alaska has approved a new tier system in which the top four primary candidates go on to compete in the general election, where they receive rankings based on the number of votes received.
Exactly one year ago, when Trump first declared on Twitter his intent to unseat Murkowski, she responded with, “I cannot live in fear of a tweet. “
Trump was suspended from Twitter on January 8 after he was blamed for the “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol as Congress counted the votes, a ban that remains in effect along with other social-media giants. His current statements are often published by such outlets as Breitbart, a Facebook fan club, and are routinely posted on Gab.com and Trump’s political website, donaldjtrump.com.
According to his post on Monday, Trump will actively campaign against Murkowski beginning in the early fall next year in the run-up to the November 2022 midterm elections. In April CNN reported that Trump’s “top political advisers have joined Tshibaka’s campaign” and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged his support for Murkowski.
As with most of the mainstream media, CNN terms Trump’s claims of major election fraud sufficient to change the outcome “baseless” without investigating the matter.