President Trump made a brief stop at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to visit with troops on his way to the G20 summit in Japan.
The video posted online showed Trump speaking with troops right outside Air Force One on the runway, as well as shaking hands with troops, taking photos with them, and signing autographs.
Trump also met with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a meeting Trump requested, Dunleavy’s press secretary Matt Shuckerow told Anchorage Daily News (ADN).
“We were happy to do so,” he told ADN. “There’s a variety of federal-state issues that we are working on.”
“They have worked very closely on a number of federal-state issues,” Shuckerow added.
“The president does care very much about the state of Alaska, he likes the state of Alaska, and we just had a very good meeting,” Dunleavy said in a video posted to Twitter.
— Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) June 27, 2019
Air Force One was stopped at the base for just 30 minutes. Trump met with the governor for approximately 20 minutes on the plane, after which Trump left the plane to meet with the troops for about 10 minutes.
Trump said he had a choice between spending the time watching the Democratic presidential debate, or briefly meeting with the troops.
“And I had my choice between you and them and I chose you,” he said to the troops.
Trump made an identical stop last month when he landed at the base for a refueling stop while on his way to Japan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
At that time, President Trump recorded a video with the troops, which was later uploaded to his Twitter account.
In Alaska with our GREAT TROOPS, departing shortly for Japan! pic.twitter.com/9a72TMftpN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2019
“We’re here in Alaska, we’re on our way to Japan, we’re with our great military. These are great, great future leaders, right?” Trump said in the May 24 video.
“We just got off the plane, I wanted to say hello, and these are tremendous people,” Trump said in the video, then turning to the troops and adding, “So thank you very much.”
During the May visit, Trump also met with Dunleavy to discuss “a number of Alaska-focused priorities, including resource development, streamlining regulations and other items directed at growing Alaska’s economy,” ADN reported at the time.