Even by the absurdly corrupt standards of the Trump administration, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke distinguished himself as being perhaps the most shameless grifter of them all, racking up an admirable 15 investigations into his conduct during his two years as a Cabinet member before slinking back to private life. And now that Zinke is a regular citizen like the rest of us, how is he spending his time? By digging for gold, baby!
Well, to be fair, he likely won’t be doing any actual digging himself. But, according to a press release from mining company U.S. Gold on Tuesday, Zinke has joined their board for a sweet six-figure annual salary, plus another $120,000 in annual expenses, the company’s CEO told the Associated Press. Not too shabby!
“I am excited to work closely with management and the Board to help make mining great again in America,” Zinke said in the company’s statement, reminding everyone that once you sign up to be a Trump stooge, you’re in it for life.
But aside from being one of the most overtly grift-loving members of the president’s administration, you might be wondering what actually qualifies Zinke for a job in gold mining. Well, he does have a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Oregon—something he’s taken as license to repeatedly refer to himself as a “geologist” even thought he’s never actually, y’know, been one.
Evidently that was good enough for CEO Edward Karr, who wrote in his company’s statement that, “As the former Secretary of the Interior and a geologist, Commander Zinke has an in-depth knowledge of the governmental regulatory and permitting process for mining and exploration companies.”
Giving up an administration job spent making it easier to dig up federal land, only to join a company that loves digging? Zinke has truly stumbled upon the grift that keeps on giving.