According to a report from CNN, Donald Trump's focus on unseating Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has the Republican leadership throwing up their hands in exasperation as they look toward the 2022 elections.
While multiple GOP lawmakers voted against the ex-president during his second impeachment trial, Trump has been laser-focused on the one female senator who broke ranks and said he should have been removed from office.
Since that time, Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner, has jumped into the race with help from former Trump advisers while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has offered his full support for the incumbent which is setting up what could turn into an ugly intra-party battle at a time when the GOP is trying to win back the Senate.
According to the CNN report, Republicans are being put in an "awkward position as they remain divided about the former President's role in the party, and try to unify ahead of the 2022 midterms with control of Congress at stake."
"Republican leaders in Washington say they are steadfastly behind Murkowski, with McConnell's big-spending super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, as well as the NRSC, backing the long-time incumbent.
But McConnell has been in a cold war with Trump after blaming the President for causing the insurrection," the report notes, adding that Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) gave Trump a leadership award after he called McConnell a "dumb son of a b*tch" in a speech before GOP donors.
For his part, Scott "defended the award, noting it was for Trump's policies, but also said he disagrees with his attacks on McConnell and backs Murkowski -- all the while arguing the party needs to unify to win back the Senate."
Additionally, Scott, who heads the NRSC, is now disavowing an unsigned statement from the organization that endorsed Murkowski before Easter by blaming it on his staff, saying, "They would have decided without me."
High-profile Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threw up his hands when asked about Trump's attacks on Murkowski, telling reporters, "Yeah I've talked to him, but that's a relationship that's probably beyond repair. My hope is that we will focus on out-of-control Democrats. But we are where we are."