Ryan Zinke has repeatedly claimed that he is a geologist, but he reportedly has never held a job as one.
CNN reports that since being tapped by President Donald Trump last year to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior, he has "suggested that he was a geologist or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including many under oath before Congress."
For example, at a Senate Appropriations hearing last June, Zinke called himself a geologist four times, including while "discussing coal revenue and potential drilling sites," CNN's Sara Ganim says.
The cable network cites Zinke's autobiography, in which he writes that he majored in geology at the University of Oregon, which he attended on a football scholarship, and chose his major at random.
Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift told CNN that Zinke graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in Geology.
"His intended career path was underwater geology — and he had college jobs to support that career. Upon graduation he was recruited to be an officer in the U.S. Navy SEALs where he proudly served for 23 years and retired with the rank of Commander," she said.
Interior did not say if Zinke has been a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists or Association of State Boards of Geologists.
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