- Associated Press - Sunday, October 1, 2017

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska weighed in on the current state of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, saying she is concerned that the Republican Party might be becoming too exclusive and disjointed.

“We seem to be more fractured within our party now than in the big-tent Ronald Reagan days,” Murkowski said. “And I worry about that; I worry about that.”

Murkowski said the party used to lean less to the right and was more inclusive of differing views across the spectrum, the Ketchikan Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2x7XcdO ) Saturday.

“There’s room for tea party folks. There’s room for moderates like me. There’s room for the conservatives. There’s room for pro-life and for people that are more supportive of a woman’s right to choose,” she said.

Murkowski pointed out that the divisions in Congress extend beyond just the GOP. She said that, in a similar fashion, Democrats seem to be having their own existential crisis fueled by ideological splits.

Murkowski also talked about the current crisis involving the United States and North Korea because Alaska is the closest state to the reclusive country.

“My advice to this administration on North Korea is to continue to ratchet up the pressure through sanctions,” Murkowski said. “Whether it is through trade or through financial institutions, let’s use these economic tools and do so in a way that is - I think it’s fair to say the word - aggressive.”

Murkowski said she does not agree with the way Trump has been communicating with North Korea.

“Another thing that I would advise,” she said, “is that while strong words are important . inflammatory rhetoric that just escalates (North Korea leader) Kim Jong Un to come back with equally inflammatory rhetoric is concerning.”

Murkowski is not a fan “of governing by tweet,” she said.

“I’m just not, and I know that we’re in a different world now and we communicate differently, but in my view there is a seriousness and a professionalism that comes with the executive,” she said. “Having said that, the president clearly disagrees with me, and he clearly is able to capture people’s attention through the use of this social medium.”

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