Republican senators are praising former Defense Secretary James Mattis for his scathing comments on President Donald Trump’s response to the protests that have sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) praised Mattis’ for his statement. Speaking to a reporter from The Washington Post on Thursday, she said, “I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue.”
She continued, “When I saw Gen. Mattis’ comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re 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.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also praised Mattis, as he said, “General Mattis’ letter was stunning and powerful. General Mattis is a man of extraordinary sacrifice. He’s an American patriot. He’s an individual whose judgment I respect, and I think the world of him.”
Romney outside Senate GOP lunch on Capitol Hill: "General Mattis’ letter was stunning and powerful. General Mattis is a man of extraordinary sacrifice. He's an American patriot. He's an individual whose judgment I respect, and I think the world of him." pic.twitter.com/NHXyquyMRH— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) June 4, 2020
On Wednesday night, Mattis broke his silence regarding Trump and blasted the president’s response to the protests, as IJR reported.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in his statement.
He continued, “We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Park. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s ‘better angels,’ and listen to them, as we work to unite.”
On Monday, protesters at the White House were driven back by National Guard troops and law enforcement officers. That move cleared the way for Trump to walk to the historic St. John’s Church, where he posed for a picture.
When asked if Murkowski would vote for Trump in the 2020 presidential election, she said, “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”
Murkowski has a history of being willing to buck Trump, in 2016, Murkowski announced that she would not vote for Trump in election after the infamous Access Hollywood tape came out.
In a tweet, she said, “I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.”
I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president. He has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.— Lisa Murkowski (@LisaForSenate) October 8, 2016
While Murkowski has not been afraid to distance herself from Trump in the past, she voted against both articles of impeachment earlier this year, as IJR reported.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Murkowski called Trump’s actions “shameful and wrong,” but said they were not impeachable.