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Trump says interior secretary will leave by year’s end

US President Donald J. Trump (R) and US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (L) participate in the 2018 National Christmas Tree Lighting at The Ellipse in President's Park south of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on Nov. 28, 2018 (reissued 15 December 2018). EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

US President Donald J. Trump (R) and US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (L) participate in the 2018 National Christmas Tree Lighting at The Ellipse in President’s Park south of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on Nov. 28, 2018 (reissued 15 December 2018). EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

EFE

The president of the United States said Saturday that his interior secretary will depart the administration before year’s end.

Donald Trump announced the latest change to his Cabinet on Twitter, adding that Ryan Zinke ‘s replacement will be unveiled next week.

“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. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation,” Trump wrote.

“The Trump Administration will be announcing the new Secretary of the Interior next week,” he added.

The president’s announcement came just hours after he tweeted that Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, would be named acting White House chief of staff.

The president had told reporters at the White House last Saturday that his current chief of staff, John Kelly , would be leaving his position by year’s end.

Zinke has come under criticism for his practices at the head of his portfolio and even been the subject of government investigations for, among other things, alleged improper use of charter and military planes to conduct official business.

The secretary heads up the department responsible for directing numerous energy projects, managing underground resources and managing a fifth of the land in the US, including the country’s national parks.

Zinke previously served as the northern state of Montana’s lone representative in the US’ lower house of Congress.

Besides the upcoming departures of Zinke and Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also has left the administration following the Nov. 6 midterm elections, having been forced out after being repeatedly criticized by Trump for having recused himself from oversight over the Russia investigation.

The president said earlier this month that he would nominate 68-year-old William Barr, who served as attorney general during President George H.W. Bush’s 1989-1993 administration, to replace Sessions.


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