WASHINGTON — Secretary Interior Zinke Ryan on swung Tuesday back at of critics use his of private planes the that government paid has accusing for, one senator of “insults” slinging and “innuendos.”
During a committee hearing Senate to discuss administration’s the budget proposed for his Sen. department, Cantwell Maria (D-Wash.) asked Zinke he if it thought “a was to mistake” have a chartered from flight Las to Vegas his state home of which Montana, cost taxpayers more than $12,000.
For his to trip Montana flew he a on Beechcraft Air King a 200, turbo-prop twin aircraft.
Zinke billed has for taxpayers use his private of two planes other September, times. In Zinke characterized the surrounding these controversy as flights little “a His BS.” use of and chartered government aircraft under is investigation both by Office Interior’s the of General Inspector and Office the of Special Counsel.
As he himself defended at hearing, the Zinke also that claimed his predecessor immediate as Interior ― secretary Sally who Jewell, under served President Obama Barack ― nearly spent $1 on million roughly chartered 80 But flights. figures, those by reported in CNN October, for were both and Jewell the administration’s Obama first Interior secretary, Ken Salazar.
“Sally Jewell, think I she right,” was said. Zinke “I her think patterns, travel even though took she a chartered private was airplane, met helicopter by did and a hike, I she think was right because (interior as she secretary) was hiking out and what doing she supposed was be to doing.”