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Trump hits out at Republican Senator over Mattis comments

Demonstrators protesting near the White House over the death of George Floyd, on Thursday.

Demonstrators protesting near the White House over the death of George Floyd, on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: AP

President says he will campaign against Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski

As protests across the U.S. continued in the aftermath of last week’s the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, visible rifts have emerged between U.S. President Donald Trump and some his current and former Republican colleagues over the President’s handling of the protests.

On Thursday, the President lashed out at Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski, who had voiced her support for Trump critic and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the great state of Alaska... campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski,” Mr. Trump tweeted, with reference to Ms. Murkowsi’s 2022 re-election campaign to the Senate.

“Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!” Mr. Trump said, reacting to Ms. Murkowski’s comments from Thursday.

“When I saw General Mattis’s comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” Ms. Murkowsi had said.

Writing in The Atlantic, the former Defense Secretary had said Mr. Trump was trying to divide the country which had not, for years, had “ mature leadership.”

“I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue,” Ms. Murkowski told journalists.

“I am still struggling with it, I have struggled with it for a long time,” Ms. Murkowsi said when asked by reporters if she would be supporting Mr. Trump in the November general election. The Senator has been known to break ranks with the GOP in her voting decisions, but decided to vote to acquit Mr. Trump earlier this year, after he was impeached by the House of Representatives.

‘I fired Mattis’

Mr. Trump also continued to insist on Thursday that he had fired Mr. Mattis (he had made this claim on Wednesday as well).

“The problem with asking for someone to give you a letter of resignation, which you do as a courtesy to help them save face, is that it is then harder to say you fired them. I did fire James Mattis. He was no good for Obama, who fired him also, and was no good for me!” Mr. Trump wrote.

Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, however, denied this was the situation.

“The President did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Mr. Kelly said to the Washington Post in an interview.

Mr. Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had not told Mr. Kelly of Mr. Mattis’s firing, as Mr. Kelly was not in his inner circle.

“John Kelly didn’t know I was going to fire James Mattis, nor did he have any knowledge of my asking for a letter of resignation. Why would I tell him, he was not in my inner-circle, was totally exhausted by the job, and in the end just slinked away into obscurity. They all want to come back for a piece of the limelight!”

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 5:35:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-hits-out-at-republican-senator-over-mattis-comments/article31761737.ece

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