Republican Sen. Murkowski won’t back Trump, does not rule out leaving party

By Thomson Reuters Mar 25, 2024 | 7:41 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said she cannot back her party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential election, Donald Trump, and did not rule out becoming an independent.

“I wish that as Republicans, we had … a nominee that I could get behind,” Murkowski told CNN. “I certainly can’t get behind Donald Trump.”

In an interview, Murkowski would not say if she would remain a Republican, CNN reported on Sunday.

Asked if she would become an independent, Murkowski said: “Oh, I think I’m very independent minded. … I just regret that our party is seemingly becoming a party of Donald Trump.”

She said she was navigating her way through some interesting political times. “Let’s just leave it at that,” she said.

Murkowski, 66, was the first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. She later voted to impeach Trump, a fellow Republican.

In return, Trump endorsed Murkowski’s Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, in the 2022 election.

Murkowski has represented Alaska in the Senate since 2002 and built an independent profile as one of the chamber’s few centrists.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)