Trump Formally Nominates Rep. Ryan Zinke For Interior Secretary

Bill Clark/CQPHO

President-elect Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that he would nominate Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to be his administration’s Secretary of the Interior.

“I am pleased to nominate Congressman Ryan Zinke as our Secretary of the Interior. He has built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues,” Trump said in a statement.

“As a former Navy SEAL, he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win,” the statement continued. “America is the most beautiful country in the world and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands.”

Zinke’s selection for the Interior Department has been viewed as one of the ways Trump’s adult children Eric and Donald Jr.—who he has said would exclusively run his business during his presidency—have blurred the lines between the Trump Organization and the Trump administration.

Politico’s Playbook reported this week that Trump’s son, Donald Jr., was actively involved in interviewing candidates for the Interior job. In an interview published after Election Day, Donald Jr. said he would be involved in the decision.

“The big joke at Christmas this year was that the only job in government that I would want is with the Department of Interior,” he told Wide Open Spaces. “I understand these issues. It’s something I’m passionate about. I will be the very loud voice about these issues in my father’s ear.”