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[WATCH] Another Dubious Trump Ally Poised to Return to Congress

[WATCH] Another Dubious Trump Ally Poised to Return to Congress

In one of Tuesday’s most closely watched races, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is poised to make a comeback in his home state of Montana despite a record number of scandals still overshadowing his candidacy.

Zinke, who is widely considered the default incumbent since he twice won elections for the state’s then-only House seat before stepping down in 2017 to join the Trump administration, was ill-prepared for his role at Interior, leading one former high-level department employee to describe Zinke as “all hat and no cattle.”

Zinke filled the Interior department’s support positions with advisors from conservative think tanks and conservative advocacy organizations, and with former energy executives and lobbyists. The Nation described these staffers as being “only interested in their checklist for dismantling regulations and weakening environmental and land use protections.” In other words, Zinke was hired to actual deconstruct the Interior department and the country’s natural resources along with it.

A foundation run by Zinke’s wife entered into an arrangement with the president of Halliburton, a company that did a great deal of business with the department, to build a brewery on land that the foundation owned in Montana. Zinke also pulled back every Obama administration initiative addressing the existential threat of climate disruption.

By the time Trump fired him in mid-December 2018, Zinke was the target of 18 separate federal investigations. Rachel Maddow spent some time on her show Monday night to outline Zinke’s many infractions and why it’s not a great idea to let him go back to having any influence on the government.

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