(National Sentinel) High Praise: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Sunday that an Axios report claiming he is on the outs with President Donald J. Trump are incorrect while defending a decision to exclude coastline off of Florida from oil exploration.
The Axios report claimed Trump is “angry” about the move and described it as a “mistake.” A former Interior Department official is quoted calling Zinke’s decision “clumsy” and an “unforced error.”
But in an interview with Breitbart News on SiriusXM, Zinke countered that his relationship with the president is “great,” and that he’s “the best boss I’ve ever worked for.”
“He’s the best boss that I’ve ever worked for. … He’s given me a lot of latitude, and his guidance is to win — pretty good guidance,” he told Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House.
“The president and I talk all the time. We are absolutely in sync,” Zinke said, which essentially echoed the description by Axios’ sources of a working relationship between the two men with “a lot of goodwill.”
Zinke also pushed back against an allegation by an unnamed source within the department that he had gone “rogue” with his decision to delist Florida’s offshore regions from being eligible for new oil exploration.
“Florida is different in the currents – I’m a geologist – it’s different in geology,” he explained.
“Florida has a moratorium, by federal law, that prevents drilling until 2022. Every member of the Florida delegation wrote me personally. The governor, who is a friend, asked for an immediate meeting, and the executive order that the president signed, did not include the Eastern Gulf for review,” Zinke continued.
“It was the right move to remove Florida’s coastline from consideration,” he said, adding that he is confident in America’s ability to tap into oil and gas resources off the remainder of the country’s coastlines.
He said that under the Obama administration, around 94 percent of offshore drilling was shut down.
As for Trump, “He doesn’t micromanage, he just expects results and he holds me accountable,” he told House. “When he feels like I’m off the mark – believe me – he calls and he’s not shy. His mind works at a million miles an hour and I have to justify what I’m doing.
“He’s the best boss I’ve ever worked for,” Zinke repeated, “and I’ve had some unbelievable leaders in the military.”
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