Fourth member of Trump's cabinet forced to resign in less than two years
President Donald Trump announced Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke's resignation via Twitter on Saturday morning, but things aren't as peachy as the White House is trying to make them appear.
According to the Washington Post, the White House has been pressuring him to resign for weeks because of ethics violations hanging over his head.
With an incoming Democratic House of Representatives and a promise for endless investigations, Zinke and his actions would be too much of a distraction for Trump's presidency - he already has a molehill of his own problems with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Here's what Zinke was told: resign by the end of the year or be fired.
So, with just two weeks left in the year and a few days before Christmas, Zinke is calling it quits. But, not before he threw a very lavish Christmas party, full of lobbyists and conservative activists in his executive suite. Taxpayers foot the bill on that one.
The funny thing about it is, that's precisely the behavior that made him hand in his resignation. The three other cabinet secretaries of Trumps that left, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, all came under fire for how they spent taxpayer money on their travel and other allegations.
Zinke has a probe currently ongoing that could still blow up on the White House, even with him gone. Authorities are examining whether Zinke struck a secret deal with the chairman of oil services giant Halliburton in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana. That's a big no-no.
Since Zinke has taken over the Interior Department, he has done nothing but help companies that are supposed to be regulated by the department. He has gutted Obama-era environmental rules and opened up huge portions of federal land and waters for drilling.
“Ryan Zinke will go down as the most anti-conservation Interior secretary in our nation’s history,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities. “Surrounding himself with former lobbyists, it quickly became clear that Ryan Zinke was a pawn for the oil and gas industry. We can expect more of the same from Acting Secretary David Bernhardt, but without the laughable Teddy Roosevelt comparisons.”
The only question now is: which other cabinet secretary is the next to go?