(National Sentinel) Offended: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke fired back at a top Senate Democrat on Tuesday after it was suggested he misappropriated taxpayer funds for travel related to his job.
Zinke was responding to questions from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during testimony to discuss his agency’s 2019 budget request.
Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, the panel’s ranking (minority) member, asked Zinke if it was a “mistake” when he chartered a flight from Las Vegas to Montana.
He responded: “Insults, innuendos are misleading.”
As reported by The Daily Caller:
The circumstances of three flights — two taken with other public officials and the third, the Las Vegas flight Cantwell referenced — was taken to make a scheduled appointment with the Montana governor, Zinke went on to explain. He also contrasted his travel with that of former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose similar flights cost taxpayers about $1 million.
“I resent the fact of your insults. I resent the fact they’re misleading,” Zinke added. “I’ll go through it line by line.”
Interior’s inspector general launched a probe of Zinke’s travel, Politico reported, though an ethics board has cleared each of his flights.
“I can take attacks on myself and my family … We’re a military family,” Zinke said later in the hearing. “We live by ‘Do right, fear no man, wake up and make sure we are accountable.’ Everything I do is looked at through a whole legal team and office of ethics.”
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