President Trump is not one to let things go. He barely seems to ever see any lines of reasoning outside of his own as legitimate. His negotiation style is basically to say “My Way or the Highway!” and that is exactly what he has done in the case of dissenting GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Sen. Murkowski, earlier this week, voted against the motion to proceed on the debate on the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal plans. Even though that motion eventually passed, Trump still took Murkowski’s vote as an affront to his power, and he started off his “retaliation” with an angry tweet. Seeking to apparently pit his base against Murkowski, he wrote that she had “really let the Republicans, and our country, down.” He has raised eyebrows in the past when he has similarly taken lower level electoral matters into his own hands, stumping for one official or another within his own party, even as president.
Trump’s angry tweet is not, however, where his efforts to get back at Murkowski end. Although he didn’t detail the calls to the point of providing a transcript of the conversations, Alaska’s GOP Senator Dan Sullivan says that both he and Murkowski have received calls this week from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that brought a “troubling message.”
He described the calls to Alaska Dispatch News, saying:
‘I’m not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of [the Administration’s] policies are going to stop.’
Neither Senator Murkowski’s office nor the White House commented on Sen. Sullivan’s reports.
He didn’t stop with just describing what Zinke had to say; he also says that he tried to push back, but he wasn’t really successful.
‘I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans… We’re facing some difficult times and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear.’
Issues that Alaska Dispatch News describe as “on the line” include:
- Nominations of Alaskans to Interior posts
- An effort to build a road out of King Cove through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
- Future opportunities to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and expand drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
Although Murkowski didn’t directly comment on Sullivan’s reports of disturbing phone calls from Sec. Zinke, she has spoken already about her commitment to stand by her positions in the face of threats from the Trump Administration. She isn’t even up for re-election until 2022, two years after the next presidential election.
She was adamant in her commitment while speaking to MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt earlier this week, saying:
‘We’re here to govern. We’re here to legislate. We’re here to represent the people who sent us here. And so every day shouldn’t be about campaigning. Every day shouldn’t be about winning elections. How about just doing a little bit of governing around here? That’s what I’m here for.’
For Trump’s part, he continues to plot and scheme like some kind of demented mafia boss.
Featured Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images