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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.

DC Whispers

Married Lincoln Project Co-Founder John Weaver Accused of Grooming Young Men, Offering Jobs for Sex

Well this isn’t a good look.

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John Weaver, political consultant and co-founder of The Lincoln Project, has been accused of being a sexual predator who targeted young men.

Conservative author and political commentator Ryan Girdusky piqued curiosity and set off widespread speculation after tweeting late Saturday afternoon that “one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project [offered] jobs to young men in exchange for sex,” adding that “his wife is probably interested” to hear about the allegations.

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Although Girdusky did not post screenshots of Weaver’s predatory actions himself, saying he “worked with journalists and reached out to victims asking for them to speak up because it was their story, not mine,” several others spoke up about what they experienced and heard.

Twitter user @JoshPri68522288 was one of the first to speak up, tweeting that “I know who did it, because they did it to me. It was John Weaver.”

@_liberalproject also said that “Weaver used to follow me when I used my real name on here. Out of the blue he DM’d being pushy with personal questions and trying to flirt with me. After I didn’t go along with it, he unfollowed me and never DM’d me since.”

(Screenshots courtesy of @lib_crusher.)

News of the impending allegations was also retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.

The longest Twitter thread on the accusations came from journalist Scott Stedman, who started a Twitter thread that begins as follows: “I don’t want to feed into Don Jr’s nonsense but I do want to tell a story. I followed John Weaver when I started my Twitter account. We exchanged messages, I sent him my stories, chatted about Russia, etc. He wrote a blurb for my book. He offered me some sort of “joint venture” which I wasn’t interested in, so I didn’t respond to his calls.”

Stedman continues: “One day, he DM’d me and said he had ‘advice’. He then proceeded to tell me how ‘hot’ I looked and commented on my profile picture and my hair. He started calling me ‘my boy’. I found it deeply uncomfortable.”

What he said to me pales in comparison to others with whom Weaver communicated and countless others who have experienced much worse from people in power,” Stedman said.

And there could be much more where that came from…

Neither The Lincoln Project nor it’s leadership have publicly commented on the accusations yet, including Weaver himself.

Stay tuned as this story develops.

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