Alaska News

Sen. Murkowski: ‘No excuse’ for Trump’s comments about Democratic lawmakers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Monday joined a chorus of criticism against President Donald Trump after he told four minority congresswomen to “go back” to their countries.

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments – they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” Murkowski said in a Facebook post.

The president must stop “digging deeper into the mud with personal vindictive insults," she said. The U.S. needs to demand a “higher standard” of decency.

Sen. Dan Sullivan also weighed in, criticizing the Democratic Party as increasingly “far-left, open-borders and anti-Israel," echoing criticisms made by Trump who suggests the four congresswomen are helping reshape the party. But Sullivan, in an emailed statement to media, said the discourse should be respectful.

“The National Democratic Party is increasingly turning into a far-left, open-borders, anti-Israel, anti-energy and anti-resource development party (particularly as it relates to Alaska)," Sullivan said. "This is something we should be debating nationally and in Alaska. But as I’ve repeatedly said, we should endeavor to debate these issues in a respectful and civil manner, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.”

Trump on Sunday said in tweets that freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should “go back” and fix their “corrupt and inept” countries rather than telling the people of the U.S. how to run government.

Omar was born in Somalia, the only one of the four women not born in the United States. All four are U.S. citizens. Omar, 36, fled civil war in Somalia with her family, becoming a U.S. citizen as a teenager.


The comments drew widespread condemnation for their racially charged undertones, and helped unite a Democratic party that has been split by the congresswomen’s strong views on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They have also sharply criticized Trump, and the latest sparring comes at a tense time as the president increases efforts to tighten restrictions on immigration at the U.S. southern border.

On Monday at a White House event, Trump broadened his attacks against the women, saying, “These are people that hate our country." He said they should be apologizing to him.

Most Republican lawmakers have not commented on the controversy, but Murkowski has previously bucked her party to stand up to the president.

Rep. Don Young did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

[Blasted by Trump and GOP, praised by others, Murkowski takes independent course on Kavanaugh]

[On Twitter, Trump criticizes Murkowski over her health care vote]

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or