Fw: Travel pool report #2, 8/31/15 -- Anchorage arrival

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From: Julie Davis [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 02:03 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP
Subject: Travel pool report #2, 8/31/15 -- Anchorage arrival

Travel pool report #2, 8/31/15 -- Anchorage arrival

Air Force One arrived at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska
at 1:39 p.m. local time after an uneventful flight.

POTUS emerged with Alaska Governor Bill Walker on this sparklingly
sunny afternoon and descended the stairs to greet a group including
the following, per the White House:

Lt. Gen. Russell Handy, Commander, Alaskan Command & U.S. Northern Command

Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens, Commander General, US Army Alaska

Brig. Gen. Laurie Hummel, Adjutant General & Commissioner, Alaska DMVA

Byron Mallott, Lieutenant Governor of Alaska

Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator

Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of Anchorage

Donna Walker, First Lady of Alaska

He then walked over to an enthusiastic crowd assembled on the Tarmac
and worked the rope line for several minutes. "Oh, it's beautiful
today," he said as a brisk breeze blew. "It's great to be here."

An elderly woman wearing beaded moose hide gloves and boots broke into
song at the sight of him. She later identified herself as Poldine
Carlo, age 94, a Dena'ina (or Athabascan) elder, and said she was
singing him the Denali song.

After a few minutes of handshaking and chatting, POTUS headed to his
motorcade, which departed the airport at 1:55.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest gaggled on the flight and you should all
have the transcript by now. Highlights included:

--Earnest brandished a new National Park Service map of Denali
National Park on which what was known until yesterday as Mount
McKinley is labeled Denali. He said the Park Service is printing the
new maps now. He defended President Obama's decision to rename the
mountain as a "common sense way" to acknowledge that Alaska natives
have long referred to it as Denali, and said the Interior Department
would try to find an "appropriate way" to honor McKinley.

--He declined to comment on news reports that the administration is
considering new sanctions against China for cyber intrusions, saying
that in general, discussing potential sanctions would be
"strategically unwise" because it would allow targets the chance to
try to evade the sanctions. Asked whether the issue would affect
President Xi's visit, Earnest said he wouldn't speculate on any action
but "it is no secret to leaders in China that President Obama and
other leaders in the U.S. government have significant concerns about
Chinese behavior in cyberspace."

--On the Iran vote, Earnest said Sen. Jeff Merkley's support brings to
31 the number of senators backing it, and would not speculate on Sen.
Coons' decision or timing except to say he has requested and received
"extensive briefings" from members of the administration.

--On the invitation, relayed by National Security Adviser Susan Rice,
for Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif to meet with POTUS, Earnest said
he assumed it had been accepted and the meeting would happen in late
October.

--on Guantanamo, he said he had no update on timing for the
administration's plan for closing the U.S. military prison, on which
it had been "hard at work" over the month of August, including
performing site visits on potential places to relocate detainees. He
said Congress should stop thwarting the process of shutting it down.
"There is no reason this has to break down along party lines."

--on Chris Christie's remark about immigrants and FedEx, Earnest said
Christie had taken the "uncharacteristic step of signaling some
discomfort with his comments, and I think that was probably
appropriate."

Later in the flight, Alaska Governor Bill Walker came back to chat
with the travel pool. Highlights to come in a separate pool report.

We are rolling toward the roundtable with Native Alaskans.

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx mobile

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