The head of the Republican Senate campaign arm vowed to support Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski against a primary challenger backed by former President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reports.
Trump has raged against Republican leaders and senators like Murkowski, who voted to convict him after his second impeachment trial.
“Lisa Murkowski is bad for Alaska,” Trump declared in June. “Murkowski has got to go!”
Trump has thrown his support behind primary challenger Kelly Tshibaka, touting her as “MAGA all the way.”
Trump has also raged against Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said after the deadly January 6 Capitol riot that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the attack.
Trump later complained that McConnell “said the nastiest things about me.”
“Had Mitch McConnell fought for the presidency like he should have, there would right now be presidential vetoes on all of the phased legislation that he has proven to be incapable of stopping,” he said in June.
NRSC to back Murkowski, Mitch:
Asked about the Trump-supported primary challenger, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NBC News that the group would “absolutely” back Murkowski.
“The National Republican Senatorial Committee, we support all of our incumbents. And fortunately for us, we’ve got great candidates running in our primaries,” he said.
Scott, a close Trump ally, also defended the Republican leader.
“I’ve known Mitch McConnell since the early ’90s,” he said. “I actually lived in Kentucky and supported him then. I have a good working relationship with Mitch McConnell.”
Scott walks a fine line:
Despite backing Trump’s Republican foes, Scott touted the effect of Trump’s endorsement.
“I think you’d be foolish not to want and accept Donald Trump’s endorsement, but you’re going to win not because somebody endorses you,” he said.
He pointed to Virginia, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s attacks trying to tie Republican Glenn Youngkin to Trump backfired.
“I hope Democrats continue to be obsessed with Donald Trump,” Scott said. “I think Terry McAuliffe would probably run his campaign differently, wouldn’t focus his whole campaign on Donald Trump. I think what we have to do is we have to say, we would love Donald Trump’s endorsement. If you’re a Republican, you want his endorsement, but you’re going to win on the issues.”