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Trump calls into a political event in Soldotna on speakerphone, touting his efforts in Alaska

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: August 23, 2019
  • Published August 23, 2019

President Donald J. Trump on Thursday spoke on a cellphone speaker to a crowd at a private political event in Soldotna, chatting about the work his administration is doing in Alaska as a giddy Sen. Dan Sullivan held the phone aloft, according to a video of the call.

" ... We’re doing lot of things with ANWR and all of the other things we’re doing for Alaska," Trump said, referring to plans to allow drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Cove road,” Trump added.

“King Cove road, yes sir,” said Sullivan, referring to the Trump administration’s efforts to build a life-saving road connecting the community of King Cove to the Cold Bay airport that handles bad-weather flights.

The event was held at the residence of Scott Davis, of Davis Block and Concrete, said Mike Anderson, a spokesman for Sullivan. Davis is a supporter of Sullivan and a past champion of the Iron Dog snowmachine race, and Davis said Friday that the event at his residence was a fundraiser for Sullivan and others. A clip of the call was posted to social media by Alaska Landmine.

Sullivan and others were in Soldotna attending the three-day Kenai River Classic, an annual sportfishing invitational and fundraising event that attracts lobbyists, lawmakers and other officials. The event is hosted by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, founded by developer Bob Penney.

Standing beside Sullivan in the video is Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Anderson said.

In the short clip, Sullivan gave Gov. Mike Dunleavy — who stood nearby wearing sunglasses — a shoutout, to the delight of the crowd. Sullivan reminded Trump that 6-foot-7-inch Dunleavy, who has met previously with the president, is the “big guy.”

“He’s the largest governor and he’s a great guy,” Trump said, adding that he’s working with the governor on different issues. Sullivan and Trump also gave a shoutout in the clip to Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.

Alaska Landmine’s Jeff Landfield said a tipster sent him the video clip and he posted it Friday.

“I think it’s hilarious,” Landfield said.