Trump suggests he'll weigh in on embattled Interior secretary's future next week

Trump suggests he'll weigh in on embattled Interior secretary's future next week

The political future of embattled Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Overnight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule MORE may be determined as early as next week, President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a White House press conference, the president said he will likely have a better sense in a week's time about Zinke's role as head of the agency that oversees public lands and endangered species management.

"We’re looking at that and I do want to study whatever is being said," Trump said in response to a reporter's question. "I think he’s doing an excellent job, but we will take a look at that in a very strong -- and we’ll probably have an idea about that in about a week."

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The president's comments come a day after Democrats took back control of the House, a change that many Zinke critics are hoping will place new pressure on the secretary.

Zinke has been enshrouded by controversy following reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating a real estate deal he made with the chairman of Halliburton -- an oilfield service company -- in Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Mont.

Interior's inspector general (IG) referred the investigation to the DOJ shortly before it was announced that a Trump political appointee would be replacing the top watchdog at the IG office. Administration officials later said the replacement announcement was a communication error.

Trump for weeks has been indicating that there may be changes to his Cabinet following the midterms. Zinke, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWhat are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? Sessions vows to 'work for' Trump endorsement Sanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office' MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenChad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Senate paves way for Trump's next DHS chief Divided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court Former Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy MORE are considered to be up for possible replacement.

Trump on Wednesday said the changes could still come, but said he was generally happy with the Cabinet.

"You know, it’s very common after the midterms. I didn’t want to do anything before the midterms. But I will tell you that, for the most part, I’m extremely happy with my Cabinet," he said.