Murkowski becomes 1st GOP senator to say Trump should resign

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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2017, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, right, after administers the Senate oath of office to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as her husband Verne Martell holds a Bible, during a mock swearing in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington as the 115th Congress begins. The oath, which normally doesnt attract much attention, has become a common subject in the final days of the Trump presidency, being invoked by members of both parties as they met Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 to affirm Biden's win and a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Murkowski vowed to honor the oath she took and affirm the results of the presidential election while urging colleagues to do the same. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON – Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Friday that President Donald Trump should resign, making her the first Republican senator to say he should leave office as backlash grows against his goading of violent supporters who stormed the Capitol.

“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News.

Murkowski told the newspaper that if the GOP doesn’t cut ties with Trump, she might leave the party. “If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.

The four-term senator is one of Congress' more moderate Republicans and has long had a fraught relationship with her party. Even so, her vehement break with Trump underscores the burgeoning desire of Democrats and some Republicans to force him from office, even as his term expires Jan. 20 with the inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden.

There is growing momentum among House Democrats to impeach Trump for a second time as early as next week. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., has said Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet should use the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has said he would consider voting to remove Trump should the House approve impeachment articles.

Murkowski said Trump should leave if he’s not going to do his job. She cited his announcement that he would skip Biden's inauguration and his inattention to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “He’s either been golfing, or he’s been inside the Oval Office fuming."

She added, “He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing."

Murkowski's interview came after Republicans lost a pair of Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will give Democrats control of that chamber. The new breakdown is 50-50 but tips to Democrats with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote.