Trump concerned Zinke broke rules amid DOJ referral: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE is concerned about a decision by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General to refer an investigation into Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again MORE's conduct at the agency and has reportedly told aides that he is worried Zinke may have broken the rules.

The Washington Post reports Trump has told White House officials that he is concerned about the Justice Department referral, which made headlines earlier this week and reportedly relates to a development deal near Zinke's property in Whitefish, Montana.

ADVERTISEMENT

The president reportedly has no plans to remove Zinke, who reportedly plans to remain in his post, according to the newspaper. Still, the news of Trump's concern comes months after EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSaluting FOIA on its birthday Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report Oklahoma AG resigns following news of divorce, alleged affair MORE left the administration after being dogged by his own allegations of misconduct.

The Justice Department is reportedly now investigating whether Zinke used his official office to aid the development project in any way, and the Post reports that Zinke met with several top figures involved in the deal at his Washington office last year.

White House and Department of Energy representatives declined to comment on the story when contacted by the Post.

Zinke told CNN earlier this week that the investigation is "politically motivated" and nothing will come from the probe.

“They haven't talked to me,” he told the news outlet of the Justice Department investigators.

“It will be the same thing as all the other investigations. I follow all rules, procedures, regulations and most importantly the law. This is another politically driven investigation that has no merit," he added.

The agency's inspector general also found earlier this month that Zinke used taxpayer-funded travel for his wife, which broke internal policies against the practice.