Trump takes to Twitter to back Dunleavy amid recall effort

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy meets with President Donald Trump on Air Force One during a layover at Joint Base Elmenorf-Richardson in Anchorage, June 26, 2019. (Photo by Sheila Craighead/White House)

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to support Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The president helped raise funds to oppose a recall of Dunleavy by tweeting a link to an anti-recall group.

Trump posted that Democrats are trying to recall Dunleavy “because his agenda is the Economy, Jobs, and protecting our Military, 2nd Amendment, Energy, and so many other things that the Democrats don’t care about.”

Trump also tweeted a link to the website for Stand Tall With Mike, an organization opposing the recall. Within six hours of the first tweet, it was liked nearly 37,000 times.

The conservative blog Must Read Alaska reported Trump met with Dunleavy in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Dunleavy has talked about previous meetings with Trump in recent national media appearances. Dunleavy told Breitbart News earlier this month that he and Trump share an interest in developing the state’s natural resources, like oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“He wants to get all of America back to work, and it’s been nothing short of an economic miracle what he’s been able to do,” Dunleavy said. “So, with Alaska, he’s been helping us out as well, to try and get back on its feet, and as you know, under the tax bill that was passed, ANWR was opened up.”

In response to Trump’s tweets, Recall Dunleavy chair Meda DeWitt said most of the people who signed the recall application aren’t Democrats, with undeclared voters the largest group. She also said veterans and active-duty personnel support the recall, and that the Second Amendment is both secure in the state and not an issue in the recall.

She said the president should stay out of state politics.

“They’re trying to fleece the American people, so that they can bring in more money,” DeWitt said. “And I think that he brings these other issues on board as a ruse.”

DeWitt said Dunleavy is looking for financial help outside of Alaska because he doesn’t have it inside the state.

“I think that the governor should be in the state, working on state politics and actually trying to talk to Alaskans, actually trying to engage broad, bipartisan constituents, and actually doing his job,” DeWitt said.

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks introduces guests during a Senate floor session in Juneau on Feb. 8, 2019.
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Palmer Republican Sen. Shelley Hughes said Dunleavy has been meeting with constituents of all political stripes.

Hughes said she’s disagreed with some of the actions of both Trump and Dunleavy, but she also agrees with them on many issues. And she sees a similarity between the impeachment investigation of Trump and the recall.

“When we begin to set a precedent that when we don’t like the outcome of an election, we don’t like the agenda of a person elected, and we begin to work to unseat them, that really disrupts and introduces chaos into our system,” Hughes said.

Stand Tall With Mike chair Lindsay Williams said she doesn’t have any comment on the president’s support for Dunleavy.

Dunleavy spokesperson Jeff Turner said no state funds were used on Dunleavy’s trip to Washington, D.C. He said he doesn’t have any other information on the trip, since it was personal.

State Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai has asked the Department of Law to review the legality of the recall application by Monday.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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