Anti-Trump GOP Alaska Senator doesn’t shoot down notion of becoming independent


Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, didn’t rule out becoming an independent during an interview and expressed regret that the GOP was “seemingly becoming a party of Donald Trump.”

Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in 2021, told CNN’s Manu Raju she was navigating “interesting political times,” and would not say she would remain a member of the GOP.

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

“Oh, I think I’m very independent minded,” she said, in response to a question about becoming an independent. “I just regret that our party is seemingly becoming a party of Donald Trump.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee nomination hearing for labor secretary nominee Julie Su in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, April 20, 2023.  (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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She was asked if she meant she would be changing her party affiliation. 

“I am navigating my way through some very interesting political times. Let’s just leave it at that,” she responded.

Murkowski endorsed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for president before she dropped out of the primary race, making her one of just two GOP senators to endorse Haley. 

The moderate Alaska senator also defeated Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka in the state’s Senate election in 2022. 

Lisa Murkowski

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 11:  Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, speaks during the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Special Diabetes Program on July 11, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for JDRF)

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She has served in the Senate since 2002, when she was appointed to the seat by her father, then Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Murkowski supported the confirmation of Biden-nominated Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, one of three Republicans to do so, as previously reported by Fox News Digital. 

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024.  (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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CNN also asked Murkowski to respond to Trump referring to January 6 prisoners as “hostages” and “patriots.”

“I don’t think that it can be defended,” Murkowski said. “What happened on January 6 was … an effort by people who stormed the building in an effort to stop an election certification of an election. It can’t be defended.”

Fox News’ Thomas Phippen contributed to this report.



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