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Commander Ryan Zinke Backs Donald Trump for President: ‘I Want to Be Part of Team Making America Great Again’

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), a former Navy Commander at SEAL Team Six before his election to the U.S. House, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he is throwing his full weight behind presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for president.

Zinke wants to help Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he infamously once called “the antichrist,” in November in any way he possibly can.

Zinke wants to help Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he infamously once called “the antichrist,” in November in any way he possibly can.

“The Democrats are besides themselves because they don’t understand Trump,” Zinke said. “They don’t understand, you don’t get between the American people—because Americans are upset. Absolutely.”

Zinke said he’s also open to being vice president or in any cabinet position if Trump asks him to serve, as well as from his current congressional seat.

“I know my name has been thrown around, and I would be honored to the duty in whatever capacity that is,” Zinke said when asked about how he has been named by some as a potential vice presidential pick for Trump. “I’m honored to be a Congressman. I would be honored to be a part of the cabinet. I would be honored to be the vice president. I would be honored to do my duty. You know why? It’s about making America great again.”

Zinke is scheduled to appear with Trump in Montana later this week to formally endorse him. He appeared on Fox News Wednesday morning to endorse the GOP’s presumptive nominee and conducted this interview the previous evening. 

He looks forward to helping Trump in any way he possibly can ahead of November.

“I want to be a part of the team that’s making America great again in whatever capacity I can serve,” Zinke said.

Zinke’s role as a Congressman with solid relationships across Capitol Hill, and someone with a military leadership background, could get him on the short list as a potential vice presidential candidate—or as a cabinet pick down the road. His pugnacious style—he eloquently lambasted Clinton throughout the course of this interview, systematically tying together her old scandals from the 1990s and earlier with the ones she’s facing today—could land him a key spot on the Trump team.

When asked about the clarity in choice heading into the general election, Zinke said that, for national security leaders like him, it could not be more clear. Zinke said:

There’s a few points: One is we need a commander in chief who supports our troops rather than abandoning them in Benghazi. I still remember in Benghazi because I lost friends there. Secondly, I think we need a commander in chief that honors the sacrifices of those in combat rather than lying about being there—and thirdly, we need a commander in chief that will hunt down terrorists rather than releasing them from GITMO. And lastly, we need a commander in chief that understands peace is only gained through strength rather than a policy of retreat and defeat. I watched as we all watched when Hillary Clinton disdained the uniforms of the Marines, she has lied on the tarmac in Bosnia when she said ‘I ran through sniper fire.’ I was there.

Zinke was actually there in Bosnia on the other side of the airstrip at that famous Hillary Clinton landing when she claimed she was taking sniper fire—while she clearly was not.

“Yeah I was there. I was in a lawn chair on the other side of the runway,” Zinke said.

He said he finds that type of a lie disrespectful to the servicemen and women in uniform for the United States around the country and around the globe. He also finds it remarkably similar to lies Clinton has told about many other things, like the Benghazi terrorist attacks and the Whitewater scandal. Zinke went on to say:

It’s the same type of lies when she said the video was responsible for Benghazi. It’s the same type of lie when she had the cattle futures. It’s the same type of lie on Whitewater. It’s the same type of lie on Travelgate. It’s the same type of lie on Clinton Foundation. And the list goes on and on and on. As a president, we need a businessman who understands that business is not usual—someone who’s not going to put up with business as usual in Washington, D.C. Having a businessman who’s not going to put up with business as usual in Washington, D.C., is exactly what we need. I’m a first term Congressman—and man, you know, status quo is not working. America is smarter than the politicians. America is demanding a change and not more of the same cronyism, not more of the same deception, corruption and business. Washington, D.C., needs to be shaken up.

Zinke also took a swipe at one of Clinton’s key foreign policy advisers, Wendy Sherman, who was integral to President Barack Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal during her time at the U.S. State Department.

“Look at it from a Commander in Chief side: Look at who one of her leading policy advisers is on national security. Wendy Sherman,” Zinke said. “This is the same person that navigated the Iranian deal. Look at when she was Secretary of State and, oh by the way, running the Clinton Foundation and soliciting funds for the Clinton Foundation while she’s the Secretary of State. How is that even possible?”

When it comes to the Clinton Cash scandal, Zinke said that the Clintons’ behavior is so bad that even the Obama team—specifically, Valerie Jarrett—crafted a document that she had to sign distancing her official State Department actions from the Clinton Foundation.

“She summarily ignored it,” Zinke said of that document.

“These side deals she’s done with the Clinton Foundation I think are damning,” Zinke added. “The whole thing is unbelievable.”

Behavior like that, he said, gives off the impression she believes she is above the law. She would, if her last name was not Clinton, be serving a prison sentence in Leavenworth right now, Zinke said, adding:

Just like if you and I did the emails, if you and I did that, we would be in Leavenworth, Kansas. There is no question in my mind. As a Naval Commander, there is people that violated, all the rules of classified information—they’re in Leavenworth, probably now—and she walks with SAP, with Special Access Programs, Top Secret by definition that would do grievous harm to us and our allies and she once again covers up because she thinks she’s above the law. But once again in this country no one is above the law, but she has set a long pattern of that and as a Commander in Chief she was a disaster as a Secretary of State. As a president, we would risk the fall of our Republican because I think the corruption and the cronyism runs that deep.

Zinke also said that Hillary Clinton has a “disdain” for men and women in uniform—whether it be the troops of America’s armed forces or police officers or anyone else protecting American communities. When it comes to Trump, though, he sees someone who “respects” those who serve to protect America. He continued:

When Hillary Clinton was in the White House, she had a disdain for the Marines in uniform. She didn’t like looking at a Marine in a uniform. It has continued. So I think we need to return to respect for service members, respect for our law enforcement, respect for our firemen, respect for civil order and those who protect communities. What I see with Donald Trump, I see that—I see a man that respects those who serve and I see also a man that understands the fundamentals of business in that you grow the economy by growing the private sector and not the public sector.

On the coal front—noting that his state of Montana has the “most coal reserves of any state in the country”—Zinke added that Clinton is going to come crush the American economy by shutting down coal mining, while Trump is going to rejuvenate America by opening up the industry. He said:

You know what you do is when she makes that statement, that she wants to put coal out of business? She’s going to put America out of business because unless you have energy that’s cost effective, abundant, then you can’t manufacture—and if you can’t be competitive in manufacturing, you won’t have any jobs. It’s that simple. So when Hillary says ‘I’m going to kill coal,’ what she’s really saying is ‘I’m going to kill American industry and going to kill jobs.’ And in Montana, I want a president that creates jobs and not kills them.”

When it comes to refugees, Zinke said he agrees “wholeheartedly” with Trump that the whole program—and how Clinton wants to go even further than Obama— is a terrifying prospect for the country.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News in his Midtown, Manhattan, office in New York City’s Trump Tower, Trump said that Clinton “wants to allow the Syrians to come in in numbers far greater than even Obama.”

“We have no idea who these people are,” Trump said. “They’re not documented. Nobody knows anything about them. I think it’s catastrophic for the country if that’s allowed to happen.”

Zinke responded to that quote, saying:

I agree wholeheartedly—in fact, it was my bill that passed the House bipartisan with a veto-proof majority that ended the refugee program until the three agencies of jurisdiction could give us some assurance that they weren’t here to do us harm. That to me is just simply common sense and putting America’s interests first.

Ultimately, Zinke added, Clinton is such a “bad candidate” that she has had to “cheat” to get to the point where she will eventually beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a proud socialist, for the nomination.

“It’s unbelievable that—number one, she had to cheat to beat Bernie,” Zinke said. “She cheated in Iowa. According to the Democrats, she cheated in Nevada. This should not come as a surprise given how weak of a candidate she is—even Democrats don’t like her.”

That, Zinke argued, means Trump is in great shape heading into the general election.

“Mr. Trump has a wind at his back and fair seas ahead,” Zinke said.

He also said he could see lots of Sanders supporters backing Trump in November because of the way they have been treated by a rigged system in their party.

“I think a lot of Bernie supporters will vote for Trump because they will rather have honesty than corruption,” Zinke said. “The Bernie Sanders folks are just as upset at what’s going on in our country as the Trump people, quite frankly. They’re expressing it differently, but I think a lot of Bernie Sanders people when they look at it objectively are going to vote for Trump.”

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