Donald Trump says interior secretary Ryan Zinke to leave in latest high-profile departure

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Washington | Published: December 15, 2018 9:08:43 PM

Donald Trump said that his interior secretary Ryan Zinke will be leaving soon, the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the US president's turnover-plagued administration.

Zinke’s tenure was substantially longer than that of some other former top officials in the administration. (Reuters)

Donald Trump said Saturday that his interior secretary will be leaving soon — the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the US president’s turnover-plagued administration. “Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years,” Trump wrote on Twitter, highlighting the fact that Zinke’s tenure was substantially longer than that of some other former top officials in the administration.

“Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation,” the president said, adding that a replacement would be announced next week.

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The announcement on Zinke came just a week after another impending high-profile departure — that of Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly — was made public.

Trump on Friday tapped Mick Mulvaney — the director of the Office of Management and Budget — to fill the chief of staff job on an acting basis, setting him up to be the third person to hold the post since the president took office in early 2017.

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A series of other top officials have left the Trump White House, including a secretary of state, two national security advisors, an attorney general and the head of the US environment agency.

Zinke is one of several members of Trump’s cabinet to come under fire over expenditures, including reports that his department was spending nearly USD 139,000 to upgrade three sets of double doors in his office — a cost he later said he negotiated down to USD 75,000.

He has also faced criticism over costly US Park Police helicopter flights last year that allowed him to return to Washington for a horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence, and several other flights on non-commercial aircraft.

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