Trump-backed candidate has 'a residency problem' in Alaska – according to GOP's Lisa Murkowski

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is questioning her challenger's ties to Alaska ahead of a likely GOP primary showdown.

The Alaska Republicans hasn't said whether she'll run for re-election next year in a primary battle pitting Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell's influence against Donald Trump's sway over the Republican Party, but Murkowski is already coming out swinging against challenger Kelly Tshibaka, reported CNN.

"I don't know her," Murkowski said. "She just came back to the state a couple years ago."

The senator alluded to an Alaska Wildlife Troopers investigation into whether Tshibaka illegally received a resident sportfishing license for a 2019 event event just eight months after moving back to the state to question her bona fides.

"Alaskans take their fishing very seriously," Murkowski said. "She's got a problem with her fishing license and residency problem. That's not what I care about, that's what others care about."

Tim Murtaugh, a senior adviser to the Tshibaka campaign, claimed Tshibaka had been invited to a charitable event in her official capacity as Alaska's Administration Department commissioner and intended to purchase a non-resident license that expired after one day, but someone mistakenly punched the hole for a resident license.

"Lisa Murkowski is clearly worried about Kelly, if she is willing to attack her on this," said Murtaugh, who previously served as director of communications for Trump's re-election campaign.

Tshibaka, the state commissioner of administration, launched her GOP primary challenge with the backing of some key allies of the former president, whose election fraud claims she backed, after spending years serving in the federal government and running a Pentecostal church in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.