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Zinke tells Breitbart: Complaints about his travel expenses ‘unmitigated, 100% BS’

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The leader of the Interior Department discussed the controversy surrounding his travel expenses and his take on the job he has held for more than seven months in an interview with Amanda House, the deputy editor of Breitbart’s Big Government silo, on a live Facebook feed Sunday.

“I always felt there are two great things that we should fund, our military for the defense of our great country and the parks and public lands for the defense of generations to come,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a former Montana congressman and a retired Navy commander, who served as a Navy SEAL, both in kinetic operations and in command. Zinke was expected to run for the Senate in Montana before he was chosen to lead Interior.

As tensions rise between the Vice President Michael R. Pence’s staff and President Donald J. Trump’s staff, Zinke is seen as a strong choice to join the 2020 ticket with Trump if Pence resigns to challenge Trump in the primary or is dropped by the president.

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House was talking to Zinke after he returned from a trip to Florida to survey the damage from huricanes Irma and Maria.

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House: You’ve come under criticism from our friends on the left for these trips. What are your thoughts on these Democrats that have come out against you?
Zinke: Unmitigated, 100 percent B.S.

Zinke said an example of how his trips have been mischaracterized is his March trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, which he said was called a vacation in the press. The trip was the subject of a story in Politico, which ties the trip to Zinke meeting with local Republicans.

CNN reported Oct. 2 that Interior’s Office of the Inspector General had opened an investigation into the secretary’s travel.

The man, who once commanded SEAL Team Six, said he flew commercial coach to the Virgin Islands as the representative of President Donald J. Trump at ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States.

On his trip to Florida, Zinke said he saw firsthand how the recovery was going and he also checked into the condition of the National Everglades National Park.

According to story in the Naples Daily News, Zinke rode a swamp buggy with park rangers to inspect the damage, cleared brush with a machete and presented his National Park Service passport .

The Everglades require a major infrastructure projects that with the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers will undo past mistakes in managing the region and will repair damage from the hurricanes, he said.

Speaking more generally, Zinke said his travel regiment as part of his management style, which is to enpower people actually doing the job and to meet with them to see for himself what is going on.

“As a former Navy commander, I have always wanted to go out on the front lines and talk to real people,” he said. “The view from Washington is so much different than the view from the field.”

Click here to watch the whole interview here.

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DC Whispers

Mike Pompeo Said to be Considering Senate Run, Secretary of State Replacement Sought

Pompeo may be vacating his position as Secretary of State.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may be preparing to resign his position to run for an open U.S Senate seat in Kansas, with Trump administration figures already researching possibilities for a potential replacement.

Trump administration officials are said to be eyeing current National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien in the event of a State Department vacancy. O’Brien has clicked with Trump far more cohesively than previous foreign policy advisors, such as fish-out-of-water neocon John Bolton and career military officer H.R McMaster.

Pompeo has always been a lukewarm executor of President Trump’s America First foreign policy platform, at times aligning with the President, yet also bowing to the conventional globalist wisdom prevalent throughout the federal department. The cabinet member began his service in the administration as Director of the CIA, an unaccountable secret agency known for extralegal attempts to interfere in American politics against the Trump campaign.

It appears Pompeo is being nudged to run for the Kansas Senate seat as a spoiler by the Republican establishment with the hopes of dashing former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s campaign. Kobach is a staunch immigration patriot who currently holds a wide lead in statewide polling, but it appears Pompeo would stand a solid chance of besting him in a Republican primary.

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Pompeo’s switch from Secretary of State to Senatorial candidate doesn’t come across as the most glaring promotion. It’s possible that Mitch McConnell and bigwig Republican Senators are desperate enough to block Kris Kobach’s Senate bid that they’d manage to recruit Pompeo into taking a demotion for the cause.

He’s generally dismissed questions pertaining to a potential Kansas Senate bid, but the creation of a new personal Twitter account has made some believe he’s gearing up for a political campaign.

Pompeo’s departure could open up avenues to push the State Department in an America First direction, even if it damages Kobach’s Senate prospects. Pompeo has consistently agitated for military intervention against the Syrian government and generally fought for the United States to work for Saudi Arabian interests.

 

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