Dinner with Trump: Tshibaka spills the details


At the close of last weekend’s fundraiser for U.S. Sen. candidate Kelly Tshibaka in Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump invited Tshibaka and her husband, Niki Tshibaka, to join him for a private dinner in the dining room upstairs at the six-star resort in Florida. It was just the three of them, with Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancé Kimberly Guilfoyle joining them briefly. And the dinner was somewhat of a strategy meeting.

Kelly said they talked extensively about the new ranked choice voting system that Alaskans will use this November, and she was struck by not only how familiar Trump is with the novel voting scheme, but how it may work strategically for candidates. Trump was pleased to learn that other Republicans had not jumped into the race, which now features main candidate Tshibaka, a Republican, going up against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Democrat Elvi Gray-Jackson.

This was Tshibaka’s second time meeting with Trump, whom she describes as keenly interested in business, in outcomes, and in strategy.

“Whenever you talk to Trump, you’ve got to be on your toes. You’ve got to know your facts. He’s very astute. He is a corporate businessman, and he is interested in results. You have to be ready,” Tshibaka said. “My background involves a lot of strategic planning, and I’m target driven.” In other words, Tshibaka can speak Trump’s business language, even over prime rib at his fancy resort.

As they dined on the massive outdoor balcony with its iconic tropical plants and polished pebble floors, Trump agreed that Republicans can be their own worst enemies, and that he hoped Alaska Republicans would commit to a winning strategy, even with ranked choice voting.

Tshibaka ran through the data, the past turnout numbers, and the details of ranked choice voting with Trump, and the two of them noodled through the various potential scenarios that will have Tshibaka, Murkowski, Gray-Jackson, and likely a fourth name on the November ballot. Voters in Alaska will rank candidates from their first to last preference. The person with the least amount of votes drops off and the second-place votes are distributed to the remaining candidates. The redistributing of votes continues until a candidate reaches 51 percent.

Trump was fascinated with the math of it all. He has a burning desire to get Murkowski out of office due to many reasons, including her trying to get a Jan. 6 investigation going in the Senate against him, and her rubber stamping Biden’s plan to withdraw from Afghanistan. Murkowski has always been in opposition to Trump, and during his presidency, her dislike for him was more than obvious to Alaskans, 53.5 percent of whom voted for his re-election. He blames Murkowski for ruining Alaska’s economic recovery because she secretly supported Joe Biden, and she confirmed Biden’s nominee to the Department of Interior, which has since shut down Alaska’s oil potential.

Tshibaka said opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain was important to Trump from the beginning of his presidency, when he realized that no one had been able to accomplish it over decades. The Biden-Murkowski outcome has disappointed him, because he cares about Alaskans.

“When I heard nobody else could do it, I said we have to get this done,” Tshibaka recalled Trump saying over dinner. Then, when Murkowski enabled Biden and Sec. of Interior Deb Haaland, ANWR’s “10-02” development area went back into the vault, a blow to America’s energy security.

Tshibaka also told Trump about her plan to focus on rural Alaska during her campaign. She has spent time in over 40 rural communities, sometimes sleeping on floors, because “nothing replaces that eye-to-eye contact,” she said. Rural Alaskans told her that Murkowski only visits them once every six years. Tshibaka said the people of King Cove understand that the reason they don’t have a road is because of Murkowski — she voted to confirm Judge Sharon Gleason, voted to confirm former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and voted to confirm current Interior Secretary Haaland. She is not willing to give up on votes in rural Alaska, just because those votes historically go for the Democrat or Murkowski.

Trump recommitted to traveling to Alaska this summer to rally for Tshibaka’s campaign, and the two talked about timing — should he visit before the primary or after? They left it undecided — again, looking at it as a strategic decision.

“I also remember that he also said he always made it a point to stop in Alaska when he was flying because he loves our state and loves Alaskans,” Tshibaka said.

Trump was also very impressed with Niki Tshibaka, and as he shook his hand at the end of the dinner, he told Niki that he now understood why Niki is “so popular.”

“He really likes Niki,” Kelly Tshibaka said.

Hers was one of the biggest fundraisers held at Mar-a-Lago that didn’t involve the super-wealthy donors of Florida. The attendees were mostly Alaskans and she thinks the fundraiser brought in about $450,000 for her campaign, give or take a few.

“One of the biggest fundraisers was for Hershel Walker, but that was a Palm Beach crowd,” she said. “For our fundraiser, it was Alaskans who made it happen.”


  1. Thanks for the report about dinner with Trump. Donald Trump’s endorsement or lack thereof doesn’t mean much to this voter. What is important to me however is that someone gets elected whose name isn’t LISA. Any candidate who can claim “I’m not Lisa” will receive my full intention.

  2. President Trump showed us all how simple it is to be an oath integrity politician. He exposed it all and look at how the oath breakers trampled him for it. Maybe it’s to far gone, to many oath breakers not enough oath fearers of GOD who keep our oath integrity. Without oath integrity well so help us GOD all here. Oath breakers look at what you have caused mock on an on or stop immediately??

  3. Frankly, I want her out of the US Senate too. I can’t stand going to all those Capitol Hill parties with her and pretending to enjoy being in the company of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Diane Fienstein. Those are her best friends. I prefer hanging out with Rand Paul. I wanna move back to Anchorage and open another noodle cafe. Go Kelly!

    • Our entire family is waiting for Lisa’s defeat. We just want to end these nightmare decades, wondering if we’ll have ANY true friends left when Frankie and I are in our mid and latter 90’s.

      • Nancy, we still have plenty of fake Democrat friends standing by. They want me to buy an electric car and give money to Green Peace. But Democrats are consumate tightwads. They never pay for anything. They always have to go to the restroom after dinner, before the check arrives. My banker says that our nest egg is starting to crack. My buddies at Conoco Phillips and Exxon no longer fly me around on their private jets. And if we finance House Husband with another noodle stand after the election, we’ll have to go to Kelly T. for federal aid and Big Mike for a decent-sized PFD.

        • Nancy, as I’ve always stated, “opportunity knocks but once.”
          Let’s get behind Kelly T. and send Leeza and House Husband out on their own. Maybe they can rent a home in SF from billionaire Pelosi, or rent one of Joe Biden’s many mansions. It’s time for them to grow up.

          • I love it when us “skis” stick together. But Frankly, we are so low on having sincere friends right now, Nancy and I will even take on friends with last names ending in any “i” vowels. Yes, even Pelosi.

      • Inquiring minds want to know. Trump is notorious for inviting people to his facilities, charging them, and pocketing the money. Is he truly willing to back Kelly, or he is in it for what HE can get out of it? And if Kelly paid for it, who put up the money?
        Do we really want to have the worst government money can buy?

        • Plenty of people paid to have dinner with and take pictures with Trump. That went to the event and into the campaign.

        • Are you as interested in who Hillary charged for a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, or The Who, What, and How that Durham’s report is exposing about the total fraud “Russian Collusion” farce foisted on our nation? Total conformity in a totally obvious scheme by The Useful Idiots and Press. When will our Leftwing friends admit they were duped and worse?

  4. Something if a bit off with this story. The tone and style are odd, embellished, and it sounds as though the author did a light rewrite of a puff piece put out by the Tshibaka campaign. The story is written in the third person, yet it contains large amounts of first-person detail (“massive outdoor balcony with its iconic tropical plants and polished pebble floors”).

    So much for original work.

  5. No Kelly 4 AK.
    You like Florida and the people there so much, move there and leave we Alaskans to ourselves.

    • That’s right, Concerned. Leave DC, Mexico bungalows, and cruise ship getaways to our royal family. We actually HATE Alaska, with all of the whining Alaskans in our faces. We’ve become afraid of our old friends wanting to follow us around and yell obscenities at us for being related to Leeza. Nancy and I can’t take it much longer.

      • Frankie, I have a solution. Take Nancy, Leeza and House Husband on your yacht and take a vacation to Mexico for about six years. We’ll collect your PFDs for you. We won’t tell a soul. No one will miss you.

      • Neither will we! Those Democrats spent days up here in the village in 2010 teaching us how to spell Murkowski. Most of us gave up and just spelled “Leeza.” And our votes counted.

  6. Top four from the jungle primary go to the general, first candidate to 50%+1 takes it. It will be interesting to see how the jungle primary results turn out.

  7. Alaska has been under attack since day 1 of the Biden presidency. Our elected officials, especially Murkowski, stood by and did nothing. Alaska is in a very strategic position to take advantage of the current world climate. Europe may just want Alaskan oil and natural gas once Putin starts putting the screws to them with huge price increases. We may not all like Dunleavy or Tshibaka but they’re the best we have for now.

  8. Nice to see the attention Kelly receives from former President Trump. Kelly already may be seen as a DC insider.
    Alaska was fortunate to have her return from DC to lead the Republican Conservative cause.
    But, how blatant is it for State government to have paid for her moving expenses to AK to the tune of $81,000. In addition to Kelly’s plum position, her husband was awarded a second $100,000 position in government.
    Hilary went to New York, perhaps Kelly can make it a double. In either case, Kelly and family will enjoy a soft landing…..in DC.

  9. The Republicans will take back the Senate even without Murkowski. It’s past time to flush that toilet. I will vote for a Democrat before I ever vote for The Princess again.

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