Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, then a candidate for Congress, is seen with the Kountry Star Freightliner on the campaign trail in October 2016. Photo: Ryan Zinke

Secretary Zinke sold motor home at half price to Republican seeking Trump job

Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior sold his motor home to a fellow Montana Republican who is seeking a job with the Trump administration, The Associated Press reports.

The Kountry Star Freightliner was valued at $50,000 but Montana Sen. Ed Buttrey (R) bought it for $25,000, the AP reported. Buttrey denies any wrongdoing even as he is under consideration for an unspecified "assistant secretary" post under Zinke.

“I know that wouldn’t look good,” Buttrey told the AP. Watchdog groups also questioned the deal, the AP said.

The sale of the Kountry Star Freightliner, which Zinke used during his two successful runs for Congress, isn't the Secretary's only questionable real estate-related deal. In June, he reached a settlement over his alleged failure to pay rent on a home in Washington, D.C, The Huffington Post reported.

Following his first successful campaign, Zinke agreed to rent the home for $66,000 a month, The Post reported. But his family claimed it was "uninhabitable" and vacated it in April 2015, barely three months after moving in , the owner of the home said in a lawsuit filed in D.C. court, according to The Post.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, The Post reported. Zinke did not mention the lawsuit, which was filed in October 2016, during his most recent Congressional campaign or during the confirmation process as Secretary of the Interior.

As for Buttrey, he fully expects President Donald Trump to nominate him for the "assistant secretary" job. The exact nature of the position wasn't detailed in a report in The Great Falls Tribune.

“I’ve spent hours filing reports and getting up to speed on projects," Buttrey told the paper. "If I get confirmed, I have to hit the ground running.”

Read More on the Story:
Sale of US interior secretary’s motor home raises questions (The Associated Press August 28, 2017)
Buttrey discusses long quest for pending interior job (The Great Falls Tribune August 28, 2017)