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Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

  • Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, condemned Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution," saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd's killing.
  • Murkowski has long been viewed as one of the most likely Republicans to break with Trump on policy issues, but she ultimately voted to move along his impeachment trial earlier this year without hearing from additional witnesses.

What she's saying: "[W]hen I saw Gen. Mattis' comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we are getting to a point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally — and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up."

  • "I didn’t support the president in the initial election, and I work hard to try to make sure that I’m able to represent my state well, that I’m able to work with any administration and any president."
  • "He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him. I will continue to work with this administration, but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately. Questions about who I’m going to vote for not going to vote for I think are distracting at the moment."

Go deeper

Woodward book: Trump slammed "my f---ing generals" as "a bunch of pu--ies"

President Trump holds a MAGA rally in Winston-Salem, N.C. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An aide to former Defense Secretary James Mattis heard President Trump say in a meeting, "my f---ing generals are a bunch of pu--ies," because they prioritized alliances over trade deals, according to Bob Woodward's new book "Rage," which was obtained ahead of its publication by CNN.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have been on the defensive for the past week after anonymous sources alleged in The Atlantic that the president "has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members" — claims that the White House vehemently denies.

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.