(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Interior secretary: 30 percent of employees "not loyal to the flag"

Zinke echoes Red Scare-era McCarthyism while telling the oil industry that he's working for them


Charlie May
September 26, 2017 3:21PM (UTC)

As Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke works to enact his business-friendly and deregulation agenda, he said that many of his employees are not loyal to him or President Donald Trump.

The department has over 70,000 employees, but Zinke said that he's "got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag," the Associated Press reported.

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Zinke told an oil industry group that Interior was like "a pirate ship that captures 'a prized ship at sea and only the captain and the first mate row over' to finish the mission," the AP reported. He added that "we do have good people" in the department.

"But the direction has to be clear and you’ve got to hold people accountable," Zinke said.

Zinke intends on relocating decision-making processes outside of Washington, which would move the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management as well as other agencies, "to undetermined Western states," the AP reported.

Zinke complained of the current lengthy processes and said that "there’s too many ways in the present process for someone who doesn’t want to get (a regulatory action) done to put it a holding pattern."

"Push your generals where the fight is," Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, added.

"It’s going to be huge," he told the National Petroleum Council, an advisory committee that includes leaders of the oil and gas industry, according to the AP. "I really can’t change the culture without changing the structure."

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On top of relocating he also wants to "speed up permits for oil drilling, logging and other energy development that now can take years," the AP reported.

"The president wants it yesterday," he said, echoing Trumps business-friendly agenda that encourages widespread deregulatory measures.

Trump has made it clear that he expects loyalty out of everyone who works under his administration, exactly the same fall-in-line attitude that is reminiscent of Trump Organization and corporate America as a whole. Those who express dissenting opinions quickly become enemies and are viewed as obstructing the president's agenda.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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