‘Concerning,’ ‘No comment’: Alaska senators respond to impeachment controversy

July 24, 2018 in Washington, DC
Sen. Lisa Murkowski is pursued by reporters in the U.S. Capitol. (2018 photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is calling it “very concerning” that President Trump, in a phone call this summer, may have pressured the leader of Ukraine to investigate one of Trump’s political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Ukraine phone call is testing Republicans anew on how closely they intend to cling to the president. Murkowski is often at the crux of moments like these, so a small mob of reporters swarmed her arrival at the Capitol Monday.

One asked Murkowski if she finds it “concerning” that Trump, in the phone call, brought up investigating Biden and his son.

“If he used undue – well, I don’t know if undue influence is the correct term,” Murkowski said. “But yes, that’s very concerning.”

RELATED: Senators circumspect after release of Trump’s Ukraine transcript

Murkowski also weighed in on requests to release the whistleblower’s complaint, as well as a transcript of the call.

“I think that would be helpful,” she said. “That would make things more clear, wouldn’t it?”

Murkowski called it “not OK” if Trump offered a deal to Ukraine – U.S. aid in exchange for an investigation of the Biden. But evidence of a “quid pro quo” is lacking, she said.

“This is one of the things that, based on what I have read today, that is yet an unknown,” she said.

After a few questions, Murkowski slipped into a senators-only elevator, leaving the reporters behind.

LISTEN: Rep. Don Young responds to impeachment inquiry

Sen. Dan Sullivan came along minutes later. He didn’t take a question about the president’s phone call.

“I have no comment on that until I see what the facts are,” he said. “I’m not going to learn the facts from reading it in the press.”

And with that, Sullivan also stepped into a senators-only elevator, on his way to the chamber for a vote.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Liz here.

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