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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke slams Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: (AFP OUT) U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (C)) attends a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House October 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Earlier this week President Donald Trump dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to meet with those countries' leaders about the disappearance of Saudi dissident and Washington Post opinion columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip
Somodevilla/Getty Images


  • Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke slammed Democratic Rep. Raúl
    Grijalva as a drunk over threats to probe his department when
    Democrats take the House majority in January.
  • Grijalva is the likely incoming chairman of the House Natural
    Resources Committee and called for Zinke’s resignation in an
    op-ed.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke slammed a Democratic congressman as
a problem drinker on Friday in response to an op-ed calling for
his resignation.

Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who is slated to serve as the next
chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee when the 116th
Congress convenes in January, wrote an
op-ed
for USA Today outlining why he believes Zinke is unfit
to helm the Department of the Interior.


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U.S. Interior watchdog probes Zinke over real estate
deal

“Ryan Zinke needs to resign immediately as Secretary of the
Interior,” he wrote. “I take no pleasure in calling for this
step, and I have resisted it even as questions have grown about
Mr. Zinke’s ethical and managerial failings. Unfortunately, his
conduct in office and President Donald Trump’s neglect in
setting ethical standards for his own cabinet have made it
unavoidable.”

Grijalva also pledged to vigorously investigate and probe Zinke’s
department in the new year.

“As ranking member, I have sent dozens of unanswered letters
seeking information about Interior Department policies and Mr.
Zinke’s conduct,” he wrote. “Should I chair the committee in
January, as I hope to do, those questions will only intensify
as part of my and my colleagues’ legitimate oversight duties.
If Mr. Zinke stays, stonewalling in the belief that a cabinet
secretary answers only to Trump would be a mistake.”

Zinke responded by leveling a shot at Grijalva in a statement
on Friday.

“It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of the
bottle,” Zinke said in the statement. “This is coming from a
man who used nearly $50,000 in tax dollars as hush money to
cover up his drunken and hostile behavior. He should resign and
pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and the tens of
thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend
investigating unfounded allegations.”

The statement made reference to a $50,000 settlement
reported
last year, in which Grijalva paid off a former
staffer after allegations that he was routinely drunk and
created a hostile work environment.

Zinke also used the hashtag #TuneInnForMore when posting the
statement to Twitter. The Tune Inn is small tavern on
Pennsylvania Ave. just west of the US Capitol, which Grijalva
frequents.

During his tenure in Congress before joining the Trump
administration, Zinke had served on the Natural Resources
Committee with Grijalva. 

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