Alaska senators circumspect after release of Trump’s Ukraine transcript

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Alaska’s senators weren’t taking a firm stand for or against President Trump after the White House released a rough transcript of the phone conversation that triggered a push in the U.S. House to impeach the president.

The transcript shows Trump asked the president of Ukraine to work with the U.S. attorney general to “look into” the Ukraine-related activities of Biden and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrong-doing by either Biden.

Murkowski isn’t drawing conclusions just yet.

“There’s some statements there that I think certainly raise the question as to the direction the president was seeking to go,” she said. “I think it’s going to be important to learn more.”

LISTEN: Rep. Don Young responds to impeachment inquiry

Murkowski says it’s not clear to her if Trump offered a “quid pro quo,” the release of Ukrainian aid in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens. But she says that’s not the only standard. 

“Let’s just take a hypothetical here. If I, as a foreign leader, ask somebody in another country, another foreign leader, to basically get dirt on my opponent, I’d say that is highly improper,” she said. “I can’t tell, from that transcript, if that is what we’re dealing with.”

Murkowski says she’ll look for information to come from congressional investigations.

Sen. Dan Sullivan left a closed-door Republican lunch at the Capitol shortly after 2 p.m.

He hadn’t read it, he said, and was in a hurry, but he took a second question as he waited for an elevator: 

“Would you ever, as a senator, in your office, ask an agency to investigate a political rival?”

Sullivan paused for several seconds.

“I’ve never done anything like that … and wouldn’t,” he said.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her Read more about Lizhere.

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