If Donald Trump is anything, he's an inveterate liar. If he's two things, he's an inveterate liar with a massive vindictive streak who likes to bully those he thinks have slighted him in any way, real or perceived. Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is finding out that second fact today as the Trump regime is now considering The Last Frontier as The Enemy of Trump for her refusal to throw her own constituents off Medicaid.
President Donald Trump isn't going to just let Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote on Tuesday's health care motion go.
Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.
The response follows Trump's no-holds-barred style of governing, even when it comes to his own party. It is his first strike of retaliation against Murkowski, however, despite her tendency to stray from the party line and the president's priorities.
Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said the call from Zinke heralded a "troubling message."
"I'm not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop," Sullivan said.
"I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans. … We're facing some difficult times and there's a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear," Sullivan said. The Interior secretary also contacted Murkowski, he said.
First of all, this is Alaska's other senator, Dan Sullivan (who *did* vote for throwing his own constituents off Medicaid like Trump wanted) that is the source of this story. Sullivan confirmed that Zinke's threat was definitely based on Murkowski's no vote to proceed on Trumpcare on Tuesday. There are several federal projects on the line here, most notably expanded oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that are now in jeopardy. Alaska overall relies on a lot of federal dollars for infrastructure and economic assistance.
Those dollars now have to be considered in real trouble.
The second thing is that Trump is more than happen to screw over the entire state to punish Murkowski. He doesn't exactly care about Alaska's citizens, because he figures most of them will vote for him again in 2020 anyway, and he's probably right. Trump clearly figures that Alaskans will side with him over Murkowski.
What happens now is anybody's guess, but if I were Ryan Zinke, I might want to keep in mind that the Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Resources, which controls both the budget and oversight for the Interior Department happens to be...Lisa Murkowski.
This could get interesting.