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Trump’s interior secretary seems to be a nexus between shady government deals, private spies and white supremacists

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President Donald Trump’s interior secretary seems to be the nexus for a shady government energy deal, a proposed private spy agency and white supremacists all based in a Montana town.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Republican congressman, has links to each of the troubling national stories out of Whitefish, the tiny rural town where he grew up, reported Alternet.

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His office insists Zinke had no role in securing a private contract for Whitefish Energy to rebuild Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure after Hurricane Maria, but the Cabinet secretary admits he’s acquainted with CEO Andy Techmanski.

“Whitefish is a small town where ‘everybody knows everybody,'” the office said in an email.

The small company, which has only two employees, won a $300 million contract to restore power to the U.S. territory, but Puerto Rico’s governor canceled the contract Oct. 29 after the Federal Emergency Management Agency expressed “significant concerns” about the deal.

Zinke’s son briefly joined a friend who worked a summer job at one of Techmanski’s construction sites, and Whitefish said the son worked as a flagger.

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The interior secretary is also linked through his sons to a notorious part-time resident of Whitefish.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, is reportedly friends with Zinke’s two sons.

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According to journalist Wayne Madsen, the alt-right figurehead moved to Washington after Trump’s election to be closer to the Zinkes and another friend, senior White House adviser Stephen Miller.

Spencer’s allies threatened to march in Whitefish, where local residents called on the white nationalist’s mother to disavow her son’s racist activities.

The Daily Stormer website promised 200 armed skinheads would defend the Spencer family’s honor in Whitefish, but the march never materialized — although counter-protesters and local residents were ready.

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Zinke has his own troubling links to white supremacists groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, the neo-Confederate group that inspired the Charleston church gunman, and he endorsed a Montana statehouse candidate who was active in a white nationalist group as a student at Liberty University and has extensive ties to European right-wing extremists.

The interior secretary is also linked to one of the key figures pushing Trump to build a private network of spies to bypass U.S. intelligence services.

The Whitefish-based Amyntor Group submitted the proposal, which is being promoted by Erik Prince — the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and, like Zinke, a former Navy SEAL.

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Buzzfeed reports there’s no known relationship between Amyntor and Whitefish Energy, although both companies are based in the rural town of 6,500.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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