A graphic that shows KTOO employees and volunteer producers working behind the scenes. The graphic reads news with facts. Reporting with impact. stories with inspiration.

Alaska senators circumspect after release of Trump’s Ukraine transcript

Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan after the Department of the Interior's surprise announcement of the cancellation of off-shore drilling leases at the 2015 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO)
Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan at the 2015 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO)

On Wednesday, Alaska’s senators weren’t taking a firm stand for or against President Donald Trump after the White House released a rough transcript of the phone conversation that triggered a push in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach the president.

The transcript shows Trump asked the president of Ukraine to work with the U.S. attorney general to “look into” the Ukraine-related activities of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.

Murkowski isn’t drawing conclusions just yet.

“There’s some statements there that I think certainly raise the question as to the direction the president was seeking to go,” she said. “I think it’s going to be important to learn more.”

LISTEN: Rep. Don Young responds to impeachment inquiry

Murkowski said it’s not clear to her if Trump offered a “quid pro quo,” the release of Ukrainian aid in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens. But she said that’s not the only standard.

“Let’s just take a hypothetical here. If I, as a foreign leader, ask somebody in another country, another foreign leader, to basically get dirt on my opponent, I’d say that is highly improper,” she said. “I can’t tell, from that transcript, if that is what we’re dealing with.”

Murkowski said she’ll look for information to come from congressional investigations.

Sen. Dan Sullivan left a closed-door Republican lunch at the Capitol shortly after 2 p.m.

He hadn’t read the transcript, he said, and he was in a hurry, but he took a second question as he waited for an elevator: “Would you ever, as a senator, in your office, ask an agency to investigate a political rival?”

Sullivan paused for several seconds.

“I’ve never done anything like that … and wouldn’t,” he said.

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media is our partner station in Anchorage. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications