Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has called for President Donald Trump to resign in the wake of Wednesday's breach of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, saying the mob that stormed the building was taking "an order from the president."
Murkowski, who has earned a reputation as a centrist willing to buck the party line, added that if Republicans remain the party of Trump, she may no longer be a good fit.
What are the details?
"I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage," Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday of Trump, who has less than two weeks remaining of his presidency.
"I think he should leave," she reiterated. "He said he's not going to show up. He's not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn't been focused on what is going on with COVID. He's either been golfing or he's been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with [Vice President Mike Pence]. He doesn't want to stay there. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."
Murkowski went on to say that "there may have been many, many, many, many good Americans who came to Washington, D.C., because they felt strongly in support of this president," while she blames Trump for his speech at a massive rally that incited the riot at the Capitol.
"I will attribute it to the president, who said, even after his vice president told him that morning, 'I do not have the constitutional authority to do what you have asked me to do. I cannot do it. I have to protect and uphold the Constitution.' Even after the vice president told President Trump that, he still told his supporters to fight. How are they supposed to take that? It's an order from the president. And so that's why they did it. They came up and they fought and people were harmed, and injured and died."
The Anchorage Daily News asked Murkowski whether she might leave the Republican Party, to which she replied:
"Well, you know, there's a lot of people who actually thought that I did that in 2010, think that I became an independent. I didn't have any reason to leave my party in 2010. I was a Republican who ran a write-in campaign and I was successful. But I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me."
With Democrats picking up both Georgia Senate seats this week, the upper chamber is now split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, meaning Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will serve as the tiebreaker after inauguration. Losing Murkowski would weaken the GOP even further, as the Democrats hold a majority in the House and have won the White House.
Murkowski is the first Republican senator to call for Trump to step down, as House Democrats draw up articles of impeachment against the president for the second time.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Friday that impeachment of the president is "not going to happen" in the Senate.
But another GOP senator, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, told CBS News that if the House brought articles of impeachment against Trump, he would "definitely consider" such a measure.