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Ryan Zinke’s oil lobbyist deputy likely to replace him at Interior — but environmentalists say he’s ‘even worse’

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Newly-resigned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s “man behind the curtain” is likely to become his replacement — and is loved by Donald Trump and loathed by environmentalists.

Politico reported that David Bernhardt, the deputy interior secretary and a former oil, gas and water industry lobbyist, is likely to be named acting Interior secretary.

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This move is “already alarming environmentalists,” the report noted, “some of whom had said they might prefer to see a distracted, scandal-plagued Zinke stay in the job.”

Chris Saeger, the executive director for the conservation group Western Values Project, told Politico that “Bernhardt is too conflicted to even be acting secretary.”

“At the very least the American public deserves to know more about the man behind the curtain who is actually running the show at Interior and could soon be fully responsible for managing our country’s public lands, wildlife and natural resources,” Saeger, whose group sued in July for Bernhardt’s communications, said.

In a statement released after Donald Trump announced via tweet that Zinke is leaving the administration, the Alaska Wilderness League claimed that “if Ryan Zinke was bad, his likely replacement, David Bernhardt, is even worse.”

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A source close to the administration said that Bernhardt may end up in the role permanently because Trump “has been happy with his effectiveness in running the bulk of the agency on Zinke’s watch.”

The same source said it may be too “problematic” for Trump to find someone else to run Interior with all the other high-profile vacancies in the administration.

The report noted that because Bernhardt has already been confirmed by the Senate for his role as deputy Interior secretary, choosing him “would be the path of least resistance” for Trump.

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Read the entire report via Politico.


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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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