Capitol Hill has been turbulent over the last week or so, as protesters continue to apply pressure to their public servants via the First Amendment.
At first, the protesters were singularly focused on promoting racial justice in the name of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died at the hands of police just over a week ago. Then, when President Trump declared that he would be using the military to “dominate” the protesters, the energy of the protests changed significantly, as did the mood on The Beltway.
First, there were the comments by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who disagreed with President Trump’s assertions regarding the federal military’s possible use in the civilian arena. And then there was the scathing op-ed by General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who once worked in the Trump White House.
Two Republican Senators began to openly express their concerns on Thursday.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ criticism of President Trump, calling it “true and honest and necessary and overdue.”
Her comments were in no way subtle.
“[W]hen I saw Gen. Mattis’ comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we are getting to a 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.”
“I didn’t support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I’m able to represent my state well, that I’m able to work with any administration and any president.”
“He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him. I will continue to work with this administration, but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately. Questions about who I’m going to vote for not going to vote for I think are distracting at the moment.”
Murkowski’s comments come just days after fellow Republican Senator Susan Collins similarly spoke out.
“It was painful to watch peaceful protestors be subjected to tear gas in order for the president to go across the street to a church I believe he’s attended only once,” Collins reportedly told reporters in D.C.
“I thought that the president came across as unsympathetic and as insensitive to the rights of people to peaceful protest,” she added.
One can only wonder who will be next to turn?
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