White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules


Looks like zinke’s days are numbered. This story tells us that trump is taking the sort of steps he usually takes when he dumps someone in his administration. In a post a couple of days ago about this topic, I note that, while this may be good news to be a rogue and scoundrel and liar removed, the person most likely to replace him will probably make zinke look like an angel.

Excerpt from this Washington Post story:

The White House is growing increasingly concerned about allegations of misconduct against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, according to two senior administration officials, and President Trump has asked aides for more information about a Montana land deal under scrutiny by the Justice Department.

Trump told his aides that he is afraid Zinke has broken rules while serving as the interior secretary and is concerned about the Justice Department referral, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. But the president has not indicated whether he will fire the former Navy SEAL and congressman and has asked for more information, the officials said.

This week, Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred the inquiry — one of several probes into the secretary’s conduct — to the Justice Department to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted. That referral concerns Zinke’s involvement in a Whitefish, Mont., land development deal backed by David J. Lesar, chairman of the oil services firm Halliburton.

No decision about Zinke’s tenure has been made, the officials said. But the shift within the West Wing highlights the extent to which the interior secretary’s standing has slipped in recent months.

White House officials’ trust in 57-year-old Zinke — a vocal proponent of the president’s push to expand coal, oil and gas production in the United States — began eroding at the start of the year, after he traveled to Florida to meet with Gov. Rick Scott ® and announced that he would exempt the state from the administration’s new plan to allow drilling off the state’s coasts. The move, which was not coordinated with the West Wing’s political shop, exposed the five-year leasing plan to legal challenges and sparked pushback from governors in other states.

But administration officials’ concerns have intensified as allegations have grown against Zinke, who has denied wrongdoing. In October, Interior’s watchdog unit issued a report finding that Zinke’s travel practices and efforts to designate his wife as a department volunteer had raised red flags among Interior ethics officials.

White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules


I was sitting outside passing candy, and my dogs did not take kindly to being stuck indoors while exciting things happened out here. So they jumped up on the door.

And locked it.

While I got stuck out here without pockets or keys. All I had was my phone, with rapidly declining battery life.

So I went to a group of neighbors across the street, sitting together and drinking while they passed out candy, hoping one of them had a compatible phone charger I could use until my partner got home in two hours.

Instead, one of them turns to the other. “You can pick locks, can’t you?” 

So anyway, I’m back inside now.