- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on Gov. Bill Walker’s thoughts on the Trump administration (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker says he is pleased with discussions he’s had with President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Interior Department.

Walker says he thinks Ryan Zinke will be “just what we need.”

Walker said he met with Zinke, a congressman from Montana, informally while in Washington, D.C., for Trump’s inauguration.

He says Zinke understood some of the challenges Alaska has had with access to federal lands for things like resource development.

Walker says he had a fruitful relationship with former President Barack Obama’s administration.

The way Walker sees it, while the two were on opposite sides on some oil and gas issues, things could have been worse.

He looks at the things Obama could have done that he did not, like designating lands in Alaska as national monuments before leaving office.


12:40 p.m.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says he understands the need to keep this country safe. But he says it also is important to protect the rights and liberties of those coming to Alaska.

Walker tells The Associated Press that there’s a balance to be struck.

But he adds it may be too soon to say if President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees strikes that balance. He says Alaska’s attorney general’s office is looking at how the order affects Alaska.

Trump’s order temporarily suspends immigration from seven countries and the United States’ entire refugee program. It has drawn protests around the country, including Monday in front of the state Capitol in Juneau.

Walker’s comments are similar to those expressed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Alaska’s other U.S. senator, Dan Sullivan, says he supports the temporary restrictions.

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