19:49 GMT +318 December 2018
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    Rep. Ryan Zinke, right, R-Mont., arrives in Trump Tower, in New York

    US Interior Sec: Hard for Dem Lawmaker to Think 'From the Bottom of the Bottle'

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    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke slammed top Democratic lawmaker Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) saying it was hard for him to “think straight from the bottom of the bottle.”

    Zinke made his statement on Twitter after Grijalva called for Zinke’s ouster in an op-ed in USA Today, the Hill reported.

    “This is coming from a man who used nearly $50,000 in tax dollars as hush money to cover up his drunken and hostile behaviour,” Zinke, a former Republican lawmaker who served with Grijalva in the House of Representatives, said in a tweet, adding, “It’s hard for [Grijalva] to think straight from the bottom of the bottle.” He also supported his statement with a #TuneInnForMore hashtag.

    READ MORE: US Interior Secretary Zinke Starts His Tenure In the Saddle (PHOTOS)

    Zinke was referencing a $48,000 settlement Grijalva entered into with a former employee on the House Natural Resources Committee who accused him of being frequently drunk and creating a hostile work environment. The 2015 deal was first reported last year. The Tune Inn, which Zinke referenced in his hashtag, is a bar on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

    “He should resign and pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and the tens of thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend investigating unfounded allegations,” Zinke's statement reads.

    Grijalva, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, has launched several investigations into Zinke by making requests to the Interior Department's inspector general, including an inquiry into Zinke and David Lesar’s land deal which included the construction of a micro-brewery. The inspector general forwarded that investigation to the Department of Justice last month.

    Grijalva responded to Zinke, saying, “American people know who I'm here to serve, and they know in whose interests I'm acting. They don't know the same about Secretary Zinke.”

    Earlier on Friday, USA Today published an editorial by Grijalva in which he wrote that Zinke should resign, citing the Cabinet secretary’s “ethical and managerial failings” and accusing him of being unable to “withstand scrutiny on Capitol Hill.”

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    Tags:
    criticisms, alcohol, Democratic Party (DP), Republican Party (United States), Ryan Zinke, Raul Grijalva, United States
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