Interior Dept. officials call CNN correspondent ‘a f—ing idiot’
Two Interior Department officials traded emails in October 2017 disparaging CNN correspondent René Marsh, with one official calling her “a f—ing idiot” and another writing “she sounds like one.”
The remarks have emerged in a public records request related to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travel.
The emails in question regarding Marsh, first obtained by HuffPost, were sent from Russell Newell, deputy director of communications for the Department of the Interior, to Heather Swift, the Interior Department press secretary.
Newell proceeds to question if Marsh had ever pressed former Obama Interior secretaries, such as Ken Salazar or Sally Jewell, while they were in office.
“Have you ever bothered to learn about their travel to try to provide some context or do you care?” he wrote.
Swift responded by the following morning on Oct. 7.
“Rene is a f—ing idiot,” she wrote.
“She sounds like one,” Newell replied later that day.
Zinke has taken several flights on chartered, private aircraft at taxpayer expense. But he has pushed back against criticisms of those flights, saying each flight was justified appropriately.
“Everything I do is looked at through a whole legal team and office of ethics,” he told a Senate committee in March.
Several of Zinke’s chartered flights are currently under investigation by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General.
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