Ryan Zinke says top Dem is a drunk in response to resignation call

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday responded to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) calling on him to resign by attacking the lawmaker’s history of drinking.

“It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of a bottle,” Zinke wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “This is coming from a man who used nearly $50,000 in tax dollars as hush money to cover up his drunken and hostile behavior.” 

Zinke is referring to a 2015 settlement that the House Employment Counsel paid to a Grijalva top staffer who accused the lawmaker of frequent drinking and creating a hostile work environment, as The Washington Times reported

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Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D) Arizona
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Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D) Arizona
Ranking member Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. speaks during a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing to examine challenges in Puerto Rico's recovery and the role of the financial oversight and management board, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
From left, Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. gather after GOP leaders announced they have forged an agreement on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Democrats objected to the bill and asked that a final vote be delayed until Senator-elect Doug Jones of Alabama is seated. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2018 file photo, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill. Grijalva and Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., sent Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke a letter on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, accusing Zinke of withholding key information from lawmakers while launching a massive overhaul of his department. The letter demanded that Zinke freeze the reorganization until he provides more information to Congress, which has the final say over the plan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah., left, and the committee's ranking member Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., right, listen to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, during a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the "Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves with Rep Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., next to Sanders' wife Jane Sanders, during a campaign rally at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., talks to reporters after touring a U.S. Bureau of Land Management corral holding more than 1,000 wild horses recently rounded up on federal land, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, in Palomino, Nev. Grijalva said he wants to work with BLM managers to overcome decades of mismanagement of the horses and fix outdated roundup policies he says prioritize livestock over mustangs. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner).
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., reviews his speech before addressing reporters following touring a U.S. Bureau of Land Management corral holding more than 1,000 wild horses recently rounded up on federal land, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, in Palomino, Nev. Grijalva said he wants to work with BLM managers to overcome decades of mismanagement of the horses and fix outdated roundup policies he says prioritize livestock over mustangs. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner).
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. gestures as he speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, to explain what border communities are asking for in the context of immigration reform. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., center, joins immigration reform supporters as they block a street on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, during a rally protesting immigration policies and the House GOP’s inability to pass a bill that contains a pathway to citizenship. Joining him, from left are, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., right, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., left, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, confer during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, to discuss jobs. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., speaks at the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans convention Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in Phoenix. Grijalva spoke about preserving Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security during budget negotiations in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., flanked by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)ng
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“[Grijalva] should resign and pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and the tens of thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend investigating unfounded allegations,” Zinke added.  

The hashtag #TuneInnForMore refers to the fact that Grijalva regularly goes to Tune Inn, a bar on Capitol Hill. 

“The American people know who I’m here to serve, and they know in whose interests I’m acting,” Grijalva said in a statement. “They don’t know the same about Secretary Zinke.”

Zinke’s strongly worded statement came in response to an op-ed that Griljalva, the likely next chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, published Friday in USA Today. In it, Grijalva called for Zinke to step down over his numerous investigations and ethical woes. 

“The American people need an Interior Department focused on addressing climate change, enhancing public recreation, protecting endangered species and upholding the sovereign rights of Native American communities,” Grijalva wrote. “These are not matters of personal preference – they are enshrined in law and supported by voters. The department needs someone accountable at the helm who believes in this mission.”

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US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
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US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS NATIONAL MONUMENT, ME - JUNE 14: With Mount Katahdin in the background, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks to the media during a tour of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Zinke was touring the monument because it is one of dozens of monuments up for review under an executive order from President Trump. (Staff Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rides a boat to Georges Island, while traveling for his National Monuments Review process, in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, U.S., June 16, 2017. Picture taken June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is interviewed by Reuters, while traveling for his National Monuments Review process, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 16, 2017. Picture taken June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (L) high fives National Park Service Ranger Beth Jackendoff on his National Monuments review visiting sites around Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 16, 2017. Picture taken June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke waits to take the stage with President Donald Trump for his on infrastructure improvements, at the Department of Transportation in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (C) talks to National Park Service Rangers, while traveling for his National Monuments Review process, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 16, 2017. Picture taken June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Ryan Zinke visits SiriusXM Studios on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
SHANKSVILLE, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Visitors listen to US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at the groundbreaking of the Tower Of Voices at the Flight 93 National Memorial on the 16th Anniversary ceremony of the September 11th terrorist attacks, September 10, 2017 in Shanksville, PA. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field outside Shanksville, PA with 40 passengers and 4 hijackers aboard on September 11, 2001. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on June 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed FY2018 budget request for the Interior Department. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 20: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the department's FY2018 budget request on June 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS NATIONAL MONUMENT, ME - JUNE 14: With Mount Katahdin in the background, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, talks with Lucas St. Clair, right, during a tour of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Zinke was touring the monument because it is one of dozens of monuments up for review under an executive order from President Trump. St. Clair's family gifted the land for the monument. (Staff Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 20: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the department's FY2018 budget request on June 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
MILLINOCKET, ME - JUNE 15: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks with members of the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce and Millinocket town council during a breakfast at Twin Pines Lodge in Millinocket on Thursday, June 14, 2017. Zinke is in Maine for a review of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, one of over two dozen reviews ordered by President Trump. (Staff Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke listens while US President Donald Trump speaks at the US Department of Transportation June 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump visit of the Transportation Department is part of a White House push to overhaul America's infrastructure. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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“Mr. Zinke is not that person,” he added. “Federal agencies cannot function without credible leadership, and he offers none. He needs to resign.”

Grijalva, one of Zinke’s most vocal critics in Congress, promised even before the midterms that if given the gavel next year, he will call on the interior secretary to testify about his many “failures and scandals.” Democrats will gain powerful subpoena authority upon taking over the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, and Grijalva has said he will use it if necessary.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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