Zinke Has Deputy On Deck To Take Over If He’s Ousted Over Misconduct

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Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is already grooming his replacement should he step down or be ousted by scandal, Politico reported. 

Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the oil, gas and water industries, has been pegged to replace Zinke, who has been expected to leave the administration after the midterms even before it was reported that the Interior Department’s inspector general had referred one probe into Zinke’s conduct to the Justice Department.

“For the last month, if not longer, it has been a common reference, even from the secretary, that David needs to be ready,” a source close to the Interior Department’s senior staff told Politico. “Not anything actionable [was said], but Bernhardt could be in charge in the future and the implication was sooner rather than later.”

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