Trump accuses Murkowski of killing ANWR; ‘I will be there to campaign against her!’ he vows

Donald Trump, wearing a black suit and dred tie, gestures in a rainy lot next to several black SUVs with microphones visible in the foreground
Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters on Sept. 10, 2020, when he was still president. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Former President Donald Trump has issued a media statement saying Sen. Lisa Murkowski is responsible for the Biden administration’s decision to suspend action on drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Senator Lisa Murkowski has cost the great people of Alaska billions and billions of dollars by voting for Radical Left Biden appointees, which in turn led to the revocation of ANWR drilling, which Alaskans have been fighting to see happen for six decades,” his statement says, under a “Save America” banner.

Save America is a political action committee established to promote Trump.

He also renewed his pledge to work for Murkowski’s defeat, suggesting he’d go to Alaska for it next year.

“I think she will be met very harshly by the Alaska voters in 15 months, and I will be there to campaign against her!” he wrote.

Murkowski, when she was a key Senate swing vote in 2017, got ANWR drilling added to the Republican tax bill. The Trump administration held the first lease sale in the refuge in the final days of his administration, though they attracted little interest from oil companies.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last week suspended those drilling leases.

Murkowski voted for Haaland’s confirmation. Trump’s statement doesn’t mention it, but Sen. Dan Sullivan also voted to confirm Haaland. Congressman Don Young crossed the Capitol to urge senators at her confirmation hearing to support her. All of them are ardent supporters of drilling in the refuge.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to campaign against Murkowski. She was one of the Republican senators to vote to convict him at his second impeachment trial. His angle Monday – taking credit for allowing oil drilling in the refuge while blaming Murkowski for the Biden administration’s anti-drilling agenda – echoes an opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News last week, authored by Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican who has filed for Murkowski’s Senate seat.

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

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