Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Leave Administration, Trump Says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Leave Administration, Trump Says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is facing federal investigations, will step downfrom the Trump administration by the end of the year.

President Donald Trump announced the change, saying on Twitter: "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.”

His replacement will be announced next week and then the Senate will vote to confirm the post.

According to CNN, possible replacements include Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Meanwhile, Zinke is facing inquiries into his actions in office, including his department's “handling of a Connecticut casino project, whether the boundaries for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument were redrawn to benefit a state lawmaker, and conversations between Zinke and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar about a land development project in Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana.”

He says the allegations against him are “false.”

"I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we've accomplished together," Zinke wrote on Twitter. "However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, called Zinke“toxic.”

"Ryan Zinke was one of the most toxic members of the cabinet in the waya he treated our environment, our precious public lands, and the way he treated the government like it was his personal honey pot," he said. "The swamp cabinet will be a little less foul without him."

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Pool