Tags: ryan zinke | government helicopters | attend | washington dc events

Politico: Zinke Booked Gov't Helicopters to Attend DC Events

Politico: Zinke Booked Gov't Helicopters to Attend DC Events
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By    |   Friday, 08 December 2017 11:28 AM

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke booked government helicopters to shuttle himself and his staff in order to accommodate his attendance at the swearing-in of his replacement in Congress and a horse ride with Vice President Mike Pence, according to Politico.

The travel logs obtained by Politico showed Zinke spending more than $14,000 on the taxpayer-funded U.S. Park Police vehicles.

In one case, according to the documents, Zinke ordered a U.S. Park Police helicopter to get him and Scott Hommel, his chief of staff, to a Shepherdstown, West Virginia emergency management exercise. He justified the expense by saying official Washington business would prevent him from leaving Washington in time to make it to the exercise.

The Washington business he attended was the swearing-in of Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., according to Zinke's Interior secretary calendar. Gianforte won a special election for Zinke's seat after Zinke became Interior secretary. Gianforte's wife donated $15,800 to Zinke's two congressional campaigns, Politico reported.

"The swearing-in of the congressman is absolutely an official event, as is emergency management training. Shame on you for not respecting the office of a Member of Congress," said Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift in an email response, according to Politico.

Zinke also used a Park Police helicopter to be flown to Yorktown, Virginia and back in time for a 4 p.m. horseback ride with Pence.

The Virginia helicopter ride cost about $6,250, according to the documents, Politico reported.

In a probe into Zinke's travel expenses, the Interior Department's internal watchdog in November criticized the agency's officials for "absent or incomplete" records, CNN reported.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke booked government helicopters to shuttle himself and his staff in order to accommodate his attendance at the swearing-in of his replacement in Congress and a horse ride with Vice President Mike Pence, according to Politico.
ryan zinke, government helicopters, attend, washington dc events
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2017-28-08
Friday, 08 December 2017 11:28 AM
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