Gov. Walker disputes article implying he's "anti-Trump"

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Governor Bill Walker reached out to the Trump Administration to correct the record and reaffirm relations with the White House after a Politico Magazine article implied he's "anti-Trump.”

The story, released on Tuesday, included Gov. Walker's face superimposed against a title that reads, "Anti-Trump Independents are Starting to Organize."

In an interview with Channel 2 News on Wednesday, Walker said he has “a very good relationship with the Trump administration," and is willing to work closely with any administration as long as “it's good for Alaska.”

“It's very clear, I'm not an anti-Trump person,” said Walker. “I was appointed to the Governor's Council, one of ten governors, by the president some months ago on military issues, and about a month ago I was invited to the White House with three other governors to talk about energy projects in their respective states.”

The governor’s Director of Communications Grace Jang said Walker’s office has asked Politico Magazine to correct the story.

“The headline is misleading—as are some portions of the article—and clearly out of sync with Governor Walker’s interview. Governor Walker is not anti-Trump; he is pro-Alaska and working hard every day to build relationships that help support Alaska’s goals, regardless of who is in office in Washington, D.C,” Jang wrote in an email.

Alaska is largely dependent on federal money. According to a recent report from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, it ranked third in the nation regarding military defense spending per capita, and more than 60 percent of its land is federally owned. Alaska’s economy can fluctuate depending on energy policy in Washington, with President Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signalling a positive relationship with Alaska’s oil and gas sector.

“We’ve been in communication with the White House about that [article] to make sure they understand that was not our position, and they certainly understand that as well, so we don’t have any problem there,” said Walker.

The Politico Magazine article, written under the author’s series called “off message,” asserts that Alaska’s governor may be the model for the rise of a new mainstream independent party in the United States.

As of Wednesday evening, the article’s headline had not been changed.