Ryan Keith Zinke (ZING-kee; born November 1, 1961) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. representative for Montana's 1st congressional district since 2023. A member of the Republican Party, Zinke served in the Montana Senate from 2009 to 2013 and as the U.S. representative for the at-large congressional district from 2015 to 2017. He served as the United States secretary of the interior under president Donald Trump from 2017 until his resignation in 2019 following a series of ethical scandals.Zinke graduated from multiple colleges before he was a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 until 2008, retiring as a commander. The first SEAL to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he formerly served as a member of the Natural Resources Committee and the Armed Services Committee. As a member of Congress, Zinke supported the use of ground troops in the Middle East to combat ISIS, and opposed the Affordable Care Act, various environmental regulations, and the transfer of federal lands to individual states. Zinke was appointed secretary of the interior by Trump. He was confirmed on March 1, 2017, becoming the first SEAL and the first Montanan since statehood to occupy a Cabinet position.As Secretary, Zinke opened some federal lands for oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction. His actions as interior secretary raised ethical questions and were investigated by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General. In October 2018, the Interior's inspector general referred the investigation to the Department of Justice. On December 15, 2018, Trump announced that Zinke would leave his post as of January 2, 2019, to be replaced by his deputy, David Bernhardt.
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