Montanans are widely known for giving that little bit extra needed to get over the top. We pride ourselves on being able to overcome any struggle through our hard work and intelligence. We get things done.
Ryan Zinke built his career on this mentality and this Montana persona. His military career was discussed daily on his campaign trails for Congress, but we came to find out that the realities of that military career were not so hyperbolically perfect.
The scandal=plagued end of Zinke’s military career was mirrored in his very short career as a cabinet official, where in his time as Montana’s first cabinet member he did everything he could to make Montanan’s look foolish.
Zinke was jettisoned from the scandal-plagued Trump administration and that takes a little extra, extra effort, that extra that Ryan Zinke has always given in his military career that ended in disgrace and that little extra that got him sent off from the most corrupt administration since Richard Nixon’s Watergate plumbers.
Now, Zinke is claiming he will be brought back into the Trump admin fold.
In response to Zinke’s surprise reemergence, Executive Director of the Western Values Project Chris Saeger issued the following statement:
“It wouldn’t be that surprising if Trump brought Zinke back into the fold. His previous tenure’s only notable achievements were the number of his scandals and the record amount of public land he put at risk. But if being an incompetent, corrupt shill for the special interests was disqualifying, there would hardly be a political appointee left in this administration.”
While he served as Secretary to the Interior, Zinke became the subject of some 15 investigations and it was reported that the Trump administration had little affection for the fake cowboy. Zinke might have excelled at following marching orders, but the Trump administration ultimately determined that he was too plagued by scandals and ethical misconduct to continue.
His replacement, Interior Secretary Bernhardt, quickly followed in Zinke’s footsteps by becoming the subject of a multi-faceted investigation just four days after his Senate confirmation. Six other Trump administration Interior appointees are also under investigation for potential ethics violations.
A little background from WVP:
Zinke resigned from the Trump administration after it became clear the White House had been pushing him to step down for weeks. The breaking point for the Trump administration – which, itself, tends not to be the most ethical – might have been when Interior’s Inspector General referred one of its many inquiries to the Justice Department for further investigation on suspicion that Zinke has lied about a private land deal with the then-chairman of oil giant Halliburton.
Potentially lying to investigators, which is a criminal offense, was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. During his short two-year stint as Secretary of the Interior, Zinke faced investigations, ranging from casino deals to bending government rules and wasting taxpayer dollars. Zinke’s revisionist history isn’t going to clear his failed public lands record or the culture of corruption that has run rampant at Interior under President Trump.