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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to resign, Grijalva releases statement

Posted at 7:33 AM, Dec 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-15 11:32:52-05

President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will depart from his administration at the end of the year.

"Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation," Trump wrote in a tweet.

The President continued in a second tweet: " ... The Trump Administration will be announcing the new Secretary of the Interior next week."

The departure comes amid multiple ethics investigations into Zinke, and pressure from a prominent Arizona Congressman. Rep. Raul Grijalva, who's expected to head the influential House Natural Resources Committee in the coming term, had pressured Zinke to resign amid the reported ethics violations.

The two traded barbed tweets over the issue last month, with Zinke saying "It's hard for him to think straight from the bottom of a bottle.

After Zinke's resignation was announced Saturday morning, Grijalva released a statement:

This is no kind of victory, but I’m hopeful that it is a genuine turning of the page. Secretary Zinke’s successor has a chance to move on from an unfortunate Trump Administration record of environmental mismanagement and decline. A well-managed Interior Department — one that puts the public good ahead of fossil fuel and mining industry demands — can be a boon to the entire country. The next Interior Secretary should respect the American people’s desire for strong environmental standards and an end to corporate favoritism. The Democratic majority on the Natural Resources Committee will be ready to assist in that effort starting in January.