Gov. Dunleavy talks with President Trump during Alaska refueling stop

JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy discussed mining, timber and tariffs with President Donald Trump during the president’s brief refueling stop at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Wednesday, the governor said in a recorded statement.

“The president does care very much about the state of Alaska, he likes the state of Alaska, and we just had a very good meeting,” the governor said in a video posted on his social media accounts.

Matt Shuckerow, the governor’s press secretary, said the president requested the meeting.

“We were happy to do so,” he said by phone. “There’s a variety of federal-state issues that we are working on.”

Shuckerow said the governor and president share similar views on economic development, particularly resource development — mining, drilling and logging.

“They have worked very closely on a number of federal-state issues,” Shuckerow said.

The president was en route to the meeting of the G20 nations in Japan.


The governor said the meeting lasted “about 20-25 minutes.” According to a pool report from Wall Street Journal reporter Alex Leary, who is traveling with the president, Air Force One landed in Anchorage at 4:47 p.m. and the governor met with the president aboard the aircraft.

Dunleavy said his wife, Rose, and one of his two daughters was also present for the meeting.

According to Leary’s report, the president left Air Force One at 5:07 p.m. after meeting with the governor and proceeded to speak with JBER soldiers. The president said he had a choice between watching the Democratic presidential debate and walking out to say hello.

“And I had my choice between you and them and I chose you,” he said.

The president returned to Air Force One at 5:16 p.m., Leary said.

This is at least the fourth time Dunleavy has spoken to the president since taking office in December. The governor met the president during a prior refueling stop in May, and two or three times in Washington, D.C.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.