Zinke spokesperson denies report that he sought Fox News job

Zinke spokesperson denies report that he sought Fox News job
© Greg Nash

A spokeswoman for 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 on Thursday denied a report that the Cabinet official had contacted Fox News about getting work at the right-leaning network after he leaves the Trump administration.

The Interior Department spokeswoman pushed back after Politico reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with Zinke’s actions, that he had reached out to become a contributor at the cable channel, where he has appeared often as a guest.

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Zinke’s spokeswoman Heather Swift called the report “dumb” and denied that he reached out to Fox for a job.

“Is this The Onion,” Swift asked. “This is laughably false."

Fox said it is not in discussions about bringing Zinke on as a contributor.

"No one at Fox News has spoken to Zinke about a contributor role," a network spokeswoman said.

One source told Politico that such a position for Zinke would be unlikely unless President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE reached out to Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox parent company 21st Century Fox Inc.

The networks' on-air personalities are often friendly to the Trump administration, with a pair of hosts appearing with the president at a campaign rally earlier this week.

Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and GOP congressman from Montana, is also exploring work on the boards of energy companies or in private equity, Politico reported Thursday.

The report comes as Zinke faces a handful of high-stakes investigations over potential ethics breaches.

One investigation focuses on a land deal that a foundation Zinke used to lead made with a company backed by Halliburton Co. chairman David Lesar. That probe was referred recently to the Justice Department for potential prosecution.

—This story was last updated at 7:14 p.m.