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Rep. Ryan Zinke, right, R-Mont., arrives in Trump Tower, in New York, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Trump tapped Montana congressman Ryan Zinke to serve as interior secretary

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President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to serve as secretary of the Department of Interior, according to the Washington Post.  

Politico reports that Zinke has yet to accept the position and has not given any indication as to which way he's leaning. 

Zinke who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee and the Armed Services Committee served as a Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008. 

He studied geology as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon and identifies as a hunter and fisherman. 


The Washington Post reports that Zinke had previously defended public access to federal lands but frequently votes against environmentalists. 

In the past, Zinke criticized the Department of Interior for a rule that aimed to curb methane releases from oil and gas operations on federal lands, according to the Washington Post. 

Zinke was an early Trump supporter and campaigned with him, Politico reports. 

Zinke was first elected to the House in 2014 and has been considered a possible challenger to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is up for re-election in 2018. 

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