WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s no big secret in the nation’s capital that the Trump Administration is desperate for a win these days. With his Muslim ban still waiting for its day before the Supreme Court, and the floundering, flouncing, and flip-flopping of Senate Republicans on the effort to repeal Obamacare, Trump has had a hard go of it the last couple of months. Adding to his headaches are the ongoing investigations into his presidential campaign and collusion with the Russian government to hack the United States and provide material on Hillary Clinton to them.
The fight over Obamacare has spilled over into a Republican civil war of sorts, and the commander in chief took a shot on Twitter yesterday at Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Ms. Murkowski joined fellow Republican Susan Collins as the only two from their party to vote no on bringing the debate over Obama’s repeal to the floor. Senator John McCain ended up casting a decisive vote, returning to D.C. in the middle of taxpayer funded treatment for his brain cancer.
President Trump was not pleased by Murkowski voting with Collins, and let her have it on Twitter.
Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Reportedly, the White House isn’t just relying on the president’s tweets to wrestle Murkowski into voting with her party. Several outlets are reporting that Murkowksi’s fellow Republican Senator from Alaska, Dan Sullivan, received a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that made it very clear, without divulging specifics, that the administration could punish Alaska should either of them not fall in line. Sullivan has not indicated he’d vote against repeal, however.
According to a report in Alaska Dispatch News, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Murkowski and the junior senator from Alaska, Dan Sullivan (R), to inform them that Murkowski’s vote “had put Alaska’s future with the administration in jeopardy.”
Sullivan told the Dispatch News that Zinke’s Wednesday call sent a “troubling message.” (source)
This morning, as he was leaving the White House to go get fitted for new golf clubs, Trump told the press he’s “extremely disappointed” in Murkowski and that he and Co-President Steve Bannon have come up with another way to put political pressure on her to “do the right thing.”
“Steve and I were talking, okay,” Trump told the press, “about this Murkowski broad. And he and I both came up with a bigly good idea to force her to do the right thing, as extremely disappointed as I am in her.”
Trump said that if Murkowski does not fall in line, he will be forced to hand Alaska over to Russia.
“And I’ll have my good friend and Russo-American relations expert Sarah Palin handle the deal,” Trump said proudly, “because after all, she can see her negotiation counterpart from her backyard!”
The president indicated that he believes Russia would be interested in taking Alaska from the United States. The territory was originally purchased from Russia in 1867 by the President Andrew Johnson administration. Trump has said that he has “some fairly reliable sources” within the Russian government that told him they’d gladly take Alaska back. The president indicated that it would not be a purchase.
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“I’ve gotten enough Russian money over the years to know what that’s like,” Trump said, “so I’m over that. I just want to give them Alaska. You know, as a thank you. Like, a repayment of some sort. BUT NOT FOR ANYTHING ABOUT THE ELECTION, FAKE NEWS! But because they’re such good comrades of ours.”
Ms. Palin has indicated she’s up for the task.
“You betcha,” Pain said in an interview, “I’d gladly help Trump give this great state back to Russia. Because at least Putin doesn’t wear mom jeans, am I right? Hand me that Big Gulp! Yee-haw! Chick-Fil-A! Colors don’t run! Farts! You betcha…did I say that already?”
This story is developing.
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