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Another swamp rat drowns in greed


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Tami Heilemann/US Dept. of Interior [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For a president who promised to drain the swamp, Donald Trump certainly filled his administration with a bunch of rats.

Yet another one, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose been accused of using his office for personal gain, is being pushed out the door by Trump. Apparently he's outraged by the idea that any of his appointees would use their position of power to enrich themselves.

No need to recount the Trump cabinet officials who've had to resign or who've been outright fired for misusing their position. It just seems like common practice these days. Guess they figure if Trump can do it, why can't they?

According to published reports, Zinke's personal conduct and management decisions have resulted in at least 15 investigations, although some of been closed. But the most serious, which has been referred to the Justice Department involves a land deal in Whitefish, MT, that also involves Haliburton Chairman David Lesar and other investors.

Once again, Trump used Twitter to announce he was giving Zinke the heave-ho, saying he'll be leaving by the end of the year. Is there any other way?

I know I said there was no need to recount the other cabinet officials who've resigned under an ethics cloud in Trump's first two years in office. But I will anyway. The other three were Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Spending taxpayers' money on lavish travel was their big downfall.

His departure is welcome news for those who care about the environment and our national parks. He relaxed Obama-era environmental rules and opened up large areas of federal land and waters for oil and gas exploration. However, he is being replaced by Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, who is expected to continue Zinke's anti-environmental policies.

#InteriorSecretaryRyanZinke #DavidLesar #TomPrice #DavidShulkin #ScottPruitt #DavidBernhardt

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