Report: Zinke Flew on Charter, Military, Oil Execs’ Planes

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his staffers have used charter and military planes for numerous trips, including one $12,000 charter flight to Montana and private flights between Caribbean islands, Politico reports. Zinke is now the fourth high-ranking member of the Trump administration revealed to being taking private-plane flights at the taxpayer’s expense, according to the report. In one such trip detailed by Politico, a chartered Beechcraft King Air 200 brought Zinke and his aides from Las Vegas to Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Montana, at a cost of $12,375. According to The Washington Post, which cited aviation and business records, the private plane used for that trip was owned by the executives of a Wyoming-based oil and gas company. Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift said all of the flights in question were “pre-cleared by career officials in the ethics office” and booked only after officials were unable to find commercial options to suit Zinke’s schedule.