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Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Mark Wilson/Staff/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told ABC affiliate KTUU on Tuesday that she was "disturbed" upon hearing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's assurance of "total coordination" between himself and White House lawyers in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Why it matters: A simple majority vote is needed for the Senate to call new witnesses, which McConnell opposes. Democrats view Murkowski as one possible Republican defection, along with other moderates like Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah.)

The backdrop: In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, McConnell said, "We'll be working through this process ... in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president as well as the Senate."

  • “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can," he added.

What she's saying: "To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense. And so I heard what Leader McConnell had said. I happened to think that has further confused the process."

  • Murkowski criticized the House impeachment process, saying, "Speaker Pelosi was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas," leaving the Senate to rectify weaknesses in the evidence that will be presented at the trial.
  • "How we will deal with witnesses remains to be seen," she added.
  • The Alaska Republican is undecided on how she would vote on impeachment, but wants a "full and fair process."
  • "For me to prejudge and say there's nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that's wrong, in my view," Murkowski said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.