Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell committed on Monday that Senate Republicans will support GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s reelection bid in 2022 despite former President Donald Trump advocating that the GOP “get rid of” the 17 Republicans in Congress who voted against him during his second impeachment.
Of the seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump of inciting a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6, Alaska’s Murkowski is the only one facing voters in the midterm election next year in a state Trump won by about 10 points last year.
“Absolutely,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, replied when asked by CNN if the National Republican Senatorial Committee would back Murkowski even after Trump extolled to the Conservative Political Action Conference his desire for political revenge against his critics.
Asked if he was worried the former President’s considerable influence could make it harder for Murkowski to win reelection, McConnell responded firmly: “No.”
Trump’s attacks on Republican incumbents are another example of the sharp divide between the establishment wing of the party, represented by people like Murkowski and McConnell, and the Trump wing.
Trump also targeted the 10 GOP House members who had voted to impeach him in January.
On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was silent when asked by CNN if he agreed with Trump that members who voted to impeach him should be primaried and purged from the party.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.
CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.