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: Major California utility PG&E filing for bankruptcy after wildfires | Zinke hired at investment firm | Barclays to avoid most Arctic drilling financing Zinke takes job at investment firm Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general MORE may be determined as early as next week, President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 Sessions5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony AG pick Barr emphasizes independence from Trump Hillicon Valley: Trump AG pick signals new scrutiny on tech giants | Wireless providers in new privacy storm | SEC brings charges in agency hack | Facebook to invest 0M in local news MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Coast Guard commandant confirms missed pay checks in letter to members White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisGOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Trump suggested withdrawing US from NATO: report 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.