Administration

Alaska senators tell Trump not to change back name of mountain

Alaska lawmakers reportedly declined President Trump’s offer to change the name of North America’s largest mountain from Denali back to Mount McKinley.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), during a speech at the Alaska Federation of Natives’ annual convention Saturday, said Trump offered to reverse the Obama-era order changing the name during a meeting in March with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

“He looked at me and said, ‘I heard that the big mountain in Alaska also had — also its name was changed by executive action,’ ” Sullivan said of trump. “Do you want us to reverse that?’ “

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Sullivan said that he and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) “jumped over the desk, we said, ‘No! No. Don’t want to reverse that,’ ” according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

Sullivan said Trump was amiable to the senators’ insistence, saying “all right, we won’t do that.”

Former President Obama changed the name in an executive order in 2015, honoring the mountain’s native Athabascan name.

Sullivan, whose wife is Athabascan, said he told Trump that if “you change that name back now, she’s going to be really, really mad.”

During the early months of Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised to reverse Obama’s order and change the mountain’s name back to McKinley. At the time, Trump called Obama’s order an “insult” to Ohio, where former President William McKinley was born.

Tags Dan Sullivan Denali National Park and Preserve Denali–Mount McKinley naming dispute Lisa Murkowski Ryan Zinke
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