On Wednesday afternoon, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski (R), warning her that the Trump administration’s support for Alaskan energy projects are now at risk—one day after she voted no on going forth to repeal Obamacare. Zinke’s “message was pretty clear,” Sullivan said to the Alaska Dispatch News.
The message was so clear Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D), top Democrat on the House Natural Resource Committee announced that he will request a formal investigation into Zinke’s threat against Alaska because of Murkowski’s vote. According to Grijalva, Zinke went too far.
“Running a department of the federal government means you serve the American people as a protector of their rights and freedoms,” Grijalva said in a statement. “It doesn’t mean you serve the president as a bag man for his political vendettas. Threatening to punish your rivals as political blackmail is something we’d see from the Kremlin. Secretary Zinke’s willingness to deliver these threats speaks volumes about his ethical standards and demonstrates that Interior’s policy positions are up for political grabs, rather than based on science or the public interest.”
Zinke isn’t the only person going after Murkowski. Trump himself attacked the Senator:
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
Now Murkowski is fighting back. As The Hill reports, Murkowski ordered the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to postpone their vote on confirming six Trump Interior Department nominees. Trump’s attempts to bully Murkowski until he got his way just came back to bite him.
Threatening dissenting Republicans isn’t new for Trump. He hates when people speak their opinion and vote against his wishes. Basically, Trump hates the democratic system and wants people to follow his orders. But as Murkowski made clear, she’s not going to stop fighting for her stance—and she’s willing to go to war with Trump to defend her constituents.