Newly departed U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told The Associated Press on Thursday that he’s been truthful with investigators looking into numerous ethics complaints against him and rejected as inaccurate a report that he’s under investigation for lying.
Zinke’s comments came in response to a Washington Post story alleging that the Justice Department’s public integrity section was examining whether the former Montana congressman lied to investigators from the Interior Department’s office of inspector general, which provides independent oversight of the agency.
In his first interview since he stepped down Wednesday, Zinke said the allegations are false and appeared to have been leaked to undermine his accomplishments as head of a department responsible for managing about 500 million acres of U.S. lands, primarily in the West. He resigned last month after Democrats critical of Zinke’s tenure regained control of the House of Representatives in the November