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Murkowski Perfectly Shades Trump After He Gives AK Governor Bizarre Conditional Endorsement

Murkowski Perfectly Shades Trump After He Gives AK Governor Bizarre Conditional Endorsement
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

More than a year after losing his reelection bid, former President Donald Trump is still considered the "kingmaker" of the Republican party, as well as its likely frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination if he decides to run.

As a result, the vast majority of Republican elected officials have fallen in line to offer him their support—even those who once decried him.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in 2016 that if the GOP nominated Trump, it would get "destroyed" and "deserve it," but was making calls on Trump's behalf to swing the state of Georgia in the former President's favor only four years later. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called Trump a "pathological liar" and a "narcissist" only to become one of his most loyal supporters. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley vocally condemned Trump on the 2016 campaign trail for not disavowing white supremacists, but agreed to serve in his administration the very next year.

But not all Republican politicians have been so quick to submit. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has stood against Trump on a number of issues, especially as his presidency became even more unhinged. Not only did she vote against tossing out the electoral votes of Pennsylvania and Arizona amid Trump's effort to steal another term in the White House. She also cast a "guilty" vote in Trump's second impeachment trial for the deadly failed insurrection he incited against Congress.

Then-President Trump vowed to campaign against the "disloyal" Murkowski, even pledging to go to Alaska in 2022 to drum up opposition against her.

This past December, Trump issued an endorsement for Alaska's Republican governor, Mike Dunleavy, but with an unusual caveat.

"Alaska needs Mike Dunleavy as Governor now more than ever. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement but, this endorsement is subject to his non-endorsement of Senator Lisa Murkowski who has been very bad for Alaska, including losing ANWAR, perhaps the most important drilling site in the world, and much else. In other words, if Mike endorses her, which is his prerogative, my endorsement of him is null and void, and of no further force or effect!"

According to a message from Trump's so-called Save America PAC just a few days later, Dunleavy responded:

"Please tell the President thank you for the endorsement. With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about. I appreciate all 45 has done for Alaska and this country."

For her part, three-time incumbent Murkowski doesn't seem scared. She addressed the endorsement in an interview with the Alaska Landmine.

The Senator said:

"First of all, I did think that the conditional endorsement was actually very bizarre. ... I've never heard of such a thing. Here's the facts. It's the Governor's prerogative to endorse whomever he will want, as it is my prerogative to endorse whoever I may want. I think the difference is my endorsement is not for sale. It's just not."

Social media users praised the response.

Others weren't so convinced.

The Senator also chided Trump for flubbing the acronym for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his statement, calling it "ANWAR" instead.

"Like Anwar Sadat," she joked.