Ryan Zinke Laughs Off Reports He’s Leaving The Trump Administration

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke laughed off reports he will be leaving the Trump administration in the near future for another job, adding there is still “a lot we have to do” at his current job.

“I kind of laugh at the criticism,” Zinke told Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade Wednesday morning. Zinke then laughed about Politico reporting he was considering a contributorship at Fox News.

“I think the president is going to nominate me for the commander of space command,” Zinke joked on Kilmeade’s show. “That was a good one.”

“There’s a lot we have to do. We have to restore and rebuild our park system,” Zinke said. “We’re in the middle of a reorganization at Interior to be better stewards for the next century. There’s a lot of work at Interior to do.”

Politico reported in early November Zinke was preparing to leave the Trump administration, including “exploring potential roles with Fox News, the energy industry or other businesses.” Zinke called the report “BS.”

U.S. President Trump takes part in the 17th annual September 11 observance at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in Stoystown, Pennsylvania

U.S. President Donald Trump walks past Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as he stands to address the 17th annual September 11 observance at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

However, House Democrats have vowed to hold hearings on Zinke’s management of the Interior Department, spurred by at least 15 federal investigations into his conduct. Democrats also pounced on news one investigation into Zinke was referred to the FBI.

Shortly after Politico published its story, President Donald Trump told reporters on Nov. 5 he thought Zinke was “doing an excellent job, but we will take a look at that, and we’ll probably have an idea on that in about a week.” (RELATED: Trump Stands By Zinke Amid Misconduct Allegations)

“I enjoy the job,” Zinke told Kilmeade. “I certainly enjoy working with the president.”

Zinke also spoke to Kilmeade about his recent visit to parts of California scorched by deadly wildfires. Zinke traveled to the northern California town of Paradise, which was largely destroyed in the more than 150,000-acre Camp Fire.

“No one really thought the damage would be this severe,” Zinke said. “These Paradise fires, the casualties could be in the hundreds.”

The Camp Fire has taken at least 81 lives, but authorities say more than 800 people are still unaccounted for.

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Tags : brian kilmeade department of the interior energy ryan zinke
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