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: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Zinke cleared of violating federal rules tied to Pennsylvania special election Overnight Energy: Trump unveils 2020 budget | Plan slashes funds for EPA, Interior and Energy | Interior request highlights border security MORE may be determined as early as next week, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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."

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 SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Hillicon Valley: Social media faces scrutiny after New Zealand attacks | YouTube removed 'tens of thousands' of shooting videos | DHS chief warns of state-backed cyber threats | House Dems plan April vote on net neutrality Nielsen warns US 'not prepared' for foreign cyberattacks MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisMattis returning to Stanford months after Pentagon resignation US-backed fighters capture ISIS militants suspected of killing American troops Nielsen warns US 'not prepared' for foreign cyberattacks 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.