Zinke on Leaving Trump Cabinet: Much Accomplished Despite ‘False Allegations’

Interior secretary latest high-profile Trump admin departure
GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/WIN MCNAMEE

Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke posted a statement about his departure from the Trump administration at the end of the year, expressing pride of his agency’s accomplishments in his two-year tenure and cited “false allegations” as part of the reason he is leaving his post.

“I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations,” Zinke included with his full statement on Twitter:

“It is a great honor to serve the American people as their Interior Secretary. I love working for the president and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against face allegations. It is better for the president and Interior to focus on accomplishments rather than fictitious allegations.”

Leftist environmentalists have been trying to undermine Zinke and the Trump administration’s effort to address past policies; environmentalists who are loyal to the Obama administration and his regulatory state that put public lands off limits to Americans and burdened farmers, ranchers, and the tourism industry with overreaching rules and restriction.

Breitbart News reported: 

Trump never established a deep personal connection with Zinke but appreciated how he stood tall against criticisms from environmental groups as he worked to roll back protections. But the White House concluded in recent weeks that Zinke was likely the Cabinet member most vulnerable to investigations led by newly empowered Democrats in Congress, according to an administration official not authorized to publicly discuss personnel matters who spoke on condition of anonymity.

His tenure was temporarily extended as Interior helped with the response to California wildfires and the West Wing was consumed with speculation over the future of chief of staff John Kelly. But White House officials pressured him to resign, the official said, which he did after his department’s Christmas party on Thursday night. On Saturday night, hours after his resignation became public, Zinke was spotted at the White House for another holiday party, the Congressional Ball.

As interior secretary, Zinke pushed to develop oil, natural gas and coal beneath public lands in line with the administration’s business-friendly aims. But he has been dogged by ethics probes, including one centered on a Montana land deal involving a foundation he created and the chairman of an energy services company, Halliburton, that does business with the Interior Department.

Zinke’s 30 years of public service includes as a Navy Seal, serving in Montana’s state senate and a term in the House of Representatives.
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