Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. Delegates responded to criticisms of President Trump made by former Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. Delegates responded to criticisms of President Trump made by former Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska’s congressional delegation responds to Trump criticisms, protests

Delegates issued statesment to the Empire

All three members of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation responded to criticisms of President Trump made recently by former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

The first to do so was Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski who called Mattis’ comments, “true, and honest and necessary and overdue.”

In a statement Wednesday, Mattis said President Trump“is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort.”

Murkowski told reporters in Washington, D.C., she was “struggling” with supporting President Trump, according to the Associated Press. While Murkowski has a history of criticizing the president, Alaska’s other two delegates, Rep. Don Young and Sen. Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, have been more supportive.

In a statement, Young said:

“I support our President and want him to be successful in unifying our nation and healing our wounds. In America’s history, we have had much to overcome to achieve racial equality, and we have more work to do. In my lifetime, I have seen great leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and my colleague Congressman John Lewis do brave work to help secure equal protection under the law that our Constitution promises. It is our work to continue, both in Alaska and across the country.

“I am very proud of Alaskans who peacefully demonstrated over the suffocation of George Floyd. They respectfully exercised their First Amendment right and had their voices heard. I think this peaceful action is the best way to honor George Floyd’s memory and bring people together to make our country a better place for everyone. We can and must do better as a nation, and I’m very hopeful we will.”

[Murkowski says she’s struggling with supporting Trump]

Sullivan also provided a statement to the Empire:

“I have deep respect for Jim Mattis and his service to our nation. I agree with all calls for unity at this time, and have been emphasizing the same. While I would urge the president to try to strike a unifying tone and message during these challenging times, the blame game and finger pointing on issues of race in America are not constructive, particularly now. As my former boss Condoleezza Rice wrote in a very powerful op-ed in today’s Washington Post, ‘If we are to make progress, let us vow to check the language of recrimination at the door.’ Now is the time when we need to listen to each other, learn, and then take appropriate action together.”

In an email, Sullivan spokesperson Mike Anderson said the senator doesn’t favor deploying active duty troops in response to protests, unless a governor has requested them.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

More in News

A king salmon on a line in Southeast Alaska gets pulled toward the net. The 2020 SeaBank report calls industrial logging and climate change “double jeopardy for salmon.” 
(Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)
SalmonState: ‘Alaska’s untold secret’ — The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’

By Mary Catharine Martin Wild salmon. Clean water. Clean air. Carbon storage.… Continue reading

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers but to restrict the daily allowance lawmakers can receive. The changes will go forward unless the Legislature expressly rejects them. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
State lawmakers face proposed salary hike, allowance limits

A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Goldbelt Transportation and Allen Marine Tours will contract with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to provide ferry service through the Southeast for the remainder of the winter, according to a news release. (Courtesy photo / Goldbelt Transportation)
Goldbelt, Allen Marine pick up winter ferry contracts

Contracts were signed this January for several winter runs to Southeast communities.

Donated blood is prepared for storage and eventual transport at the Blood Bank of Alaska's Juneau location. There is a statewide shortage of donated blood. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
‘National blood crisis’ presents challenges in Alaska

Donation centers contend with COVID, weather and other disruptions as they work to stock hospitals.

Most Read