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Sec Zinke and $185,203.75 White House Invoices

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Posted on April 30 2018

 Dept of Interior OIG

 Sec Zinke Travel Report , April 2018

 

 What is it with the Trump SWAMP Cabinet? It appears that nearly everyone of his Cabinet Memb7are as ethically bankrupt as Trump’s Casinos. It’s like a three card Monty, with the goal of finding the red Jack only to realize they are all lying cheating charlatans living high on the Tax Payer’s dime.

 

Golden Knights $12,375 Chartered Flight 

We determined that Zinke’s use of chartered flights in fiscal year (FY) 2017 generally followed relevant law, policy, rules, and regulations.

 

  • ...that a June 2017 trip during which he used a $12,375 chartered flight after speaking at the developmental camp for the Golden Knights, a National Hockey League team in Las Vegas, was reviewed and approved by DOI ethics officials without all the facts”

 

  • “Zinke had been aware of the Golden Knights event as early as March 7, 2017...the grant announcement in nearby Pahrump, NV, was scheduled after Zinke and his staff had already planned to be in Las Vegas for the event.”

 

Zinke’s chief of staff, Scott Hommel (when questioned by the DOI-OIG investigators): a cabinet secretary “needs to get where he needs to get”

 

  •  Hommel said he learned sometime before the trip about the need for the chartered flight and its cost.
  • He acknowledged that the cost of the flight seemed high..
  • He said the Ethics Office had “signed off” on the speech as an official event, one that he thought was worthwhile for Zinke to attend.

 

Based on the 4 pages dedicated to the DOI-OIG investigation into Secretary Zinke’s Travel. based on a comprehensive investigation surrounding the Golden Knights speech, at NO time did Zinke discuss ANY matters related to the Department of Interior. The investigation also concluded that Zinke’s staff (willfully) withheld the fact the Golden Knights owner had contributed to his Congressional Campaign and the DOI Ethics Attorney found out about this salient data point in the newspaper. When she watched Zinke’s speech she told investigators:

 
sort of an inspirational-type speech, one that a coach might give either before a game [or] during the locker room at halftime,” and that it had “no tie” to the DOI. “It certainly should have been tied to the Department of the Interior and in some way reflective of our mission,” she said, for it to qualify as an official event. 

 

White House lack of ethics & transparency matter:

May 2017 - “received an email from the White House stating that the Republican Attorney General Association had asked Zinke to be the keynote speaker at a June 25 event in Lake Tahoe sponsored by the Rule of Law Defense Fund.’

 

Air Force One and Air Force Two (AF1 and AF2) and other military aircraft.

 

  • FY 2017, the DOI obligated $185,203.75 for Zinke’s flights on these aircraft, including $52,000 for two flights—one on AF1 and one on AF2
  • that Zinke had been invited on but ultimately did not take.
  • Zinke did not fly on these occasions, the White House still billed the DOI for his passage on AF1 and AF2, and the DOI paid the obligations.

 

 

Granted the DOI-OIG found that it is standard practice for the White House to invoice for cabinet members “travel” on Air Force One & Air Force Two, even though Sec Zinke never flew on the flights the White House invoiced and the Department of Interior subsequently paid. Maybe I’m naive but WHY is this “common practice” to me that’s a total misappropriation of federal funds.

 

White House litterally ROBBING tax payers...

On two occasions on which Zinke was invited to fly on AF1 and AF2 only to have the invitations REVOKED by the president. Yes you are reading that correctly. I can’t stop laughing but then I read the next sentence.

How on earth is this appropriate, ethical or lawful? The White House billing & accepting agency funds for a flights/services that that Sec Zinke NEVER took? At this point is it possible for Congress to do their job, you know that thing called: three co equal branches of Government. Where the Legislative Branch checks & balances the Executive Branch? Since when did our Country turn in to a kleptocracy fun by a con man who’s literally fleecing all of us.   

 

  •  DOI was still billed for his passage on the flights and paid the obligations.”
  • ”According to records we reviewed:
    • the first occasion was a flight to Billings, MT, scheduled for May 2017
    • the second was to Bismarck, ND, scheduled for September 2017
    • The total amount obligated for both flights was $52,000.

 

According to Sec Zinke’s calendar he was in fact in DC, calendar here  meeting with the Governor of North Dakota, as confirmed by the Governor’s schedule, here.

DOI’s Financial and Business Management System, the total cost the DOI obligated for these flights was $105,000.00 for the following events that Trump didn’t revoke Zinke’s invite 

 

    • April 2017, Zinke attended a National Rifle Association convention in Atlanta, GA, with the President, and gave a speech there.
    • June 2017, he attended a presidential media event in Cincinnati, OH.
    • July 2017, he traveled to Glen Jean, WV, with the President to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree
    • Youngstown, OH, the following day for another event with the President. 

     

    And yet this was Zinke’s response about the Media digging in to his “questionable” travel approval.

    Apparently the Department of Interior Office of Inspector General didn’t find your travel as “BS” in fact they questioned the practices of your staff and how these cost could AND should be avoided. As detailed on their 14 page report found, here

    Your move Zinke. Your move..I mean The Whole WhiteFish stink ...but I digress. -Spicy Out

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