Donald Trump is so used to corruption and fraud, it almost seems like he actively seeks it out in potential employees! He described his choice for Secretary of the Interior, former Republican Representative and retired Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, as someone with “incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win.” What “winning” means in the context of the Interior Department, who knows—presumably, finding the industry that will pay the Trump criminal organization the most to exploit a given piece of federal land. In any case, the Intercept reports that Zinke repeatedly committed travel fraud during his time in the Navy in the late 1990s.
According to sources interviewed by the Intercept, when Zinke was part of SEAL Team 6, he was caught multiple times traveling to Montana to renovate his house, claiming the travel was for official duties, and submitting travel vouchers in order to be compensated for his costs. (He was, in fact, paid for these trips.) When officers investigated Zinke’s records, they discovered a “pattern of travel fraud” lasting years. Ultimately, he confessed, telling SEAL leaders that he intended to live in Montana after retiring from the Navy.
Even after being caught and warned, Zinke continued to fraudulently bill the Navy for trips to Montana. But for some reason, he was never formally punished, and he was allowed to finish his assignment with the SEAL team. And now he’ll likely be Secretary of the Interior, having found a boss who’s every bit as dishonest as he is.
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