President-Elect Donald Trump has offered the Interior secretary job to Montana’s lone Congressman Ryan Zinke, according to Washington D.C. news outlet Politico.
Politico sources said Zinke has yet to accept the position and as not indicated which way he is leaning.
Mr. Zinke met with Trump in New York City earlier this week. He was reportedly in the mix for one of a handful of Cabinet positions that include the departments of the Interior and Veterans Affairs.
Trump transition team communications director, Jason Miller, described Zinke as an early Trump supporter and mentioned the congressman’s 22 years as a Navy SEAL and experience as a former state legislator.
“Congressman Zinke is a strong advocate for American energy independence. And he supports an all-encompassing energy policy that includes renewables, fossil fuels and alternative energy,” Miller said. “Additionally, Congressman Zinke believes we need to find a way to cut through bureaucracy to ensure our nation’s parks, forests, and other public areas are properly maintained and used effectively.”
Mr. Zinke, who studied geology at the University of Oregon and served as a Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008 before being elected to the Montana State Senate. Zinke campaigned for his House seat on a platform of achieving North American energy independence. He sits on the House Natural Resources Committee as well as the Armed Services Committee.
Zinke cruised to a double-digit victory in November of Democrat Denise Juneau. Since Election Day, it has been widely speculated in D.C and Montana political circles that Zinke was considering a run against Senator Jon Tester in 2018.