Sen. Dan Sullivan, a colonel in the U.S. Marines Reserve who served in Afghanistan, was in the Senate subway when a CNN reporter approached and asked him his thoughts on the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Tuesday. The answer given to the reporter prompted Sullivan’s opponent, Al Gross of Juneau, to call him a “Coward.”
Sullivan had responded to the reporter: He didn’t see the debate because he had been hosting one of his own events at the time.
It was, in fact, a campaign event at the Dimond Center in Anchorage, which took place at the same time as the debate. Sullivan had to teleconference into the event because the Senate had been called back to Washington. But he attended his own event nonetheless.
Then, as the doors were closing, the reporter asked Sullivan the “gotcha” question: Did Trump’s actions “refusing to condemn white supremacy” hurt Sullivan’s re-election chances?
The doors to the subway closed and the reporter said Sullivan stared silently for 8 seconds. Others said it was all over in a second, not 8 seconds, but this was CNN.
Al Gross, the doctor who embellished his involvement in killing a bear, had one word for the Marine who served around the globe and who spends three weeks training with the Marines every year: “Coward.”
It had been a set-up question from a CNN reporter who knows that Senators are not allowed to talk about their campaigns while they are in the U.S. Capitol.
The president has on several occasions denounced white supremacy, but also knows that this is a political attack and has responded forcefully to such questions.
As for Sullivan, he is married to an Alaska Native and is the father of Alaska Native children. But that somehow escaped the narrative for CNN and Al Gross.
Sullivan’s office released the following statement: “Senator Sullivan doesn’t know what the President actually meant by his comments. For his part, Senator Sullivan has consistently and unambiguously denounced white supremacy and expects all others to do the same. Period.”