Esquire recently published an article titled, “Donald Trump Just Tapped Another Putin Fanboy for His Cabinet” by Charles P. Pierce, which is critical of Rep. Zinke’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. Citing the Washington Times, Pierce makes his basis for calling Rep. Zinke a “Putin fanboy” from Zinke’s interpretation of Trump’s critique of President Obama.
There is no doubt that for the Russian people Vladimir Putin is a more effective leader than our president is for the American people,” said Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana Republican and the first Navy SEAL to serve in the House of Representatives.” – Washington Times
Pierce then takes Zinke’s comment and adds his own outlandish emphasis.
The former SEAL Team Six team leader cited Mr. Putin’s successes annexing Crimea, spreading Russian influence in Ukraine and planting the Russian flag at the North Pole, claiming sovereignty over a large portion of the Arctic Ocean.”- Esquire
The only other source the Esquire author quoted was a blog entry that was critical of Rep. Zinke wanting to build a Navy SEAL training center in Montana to better prepare Navy SEALs for deployments to austere mountain environments. Stating that if Zinke were to create a SEAL training center, it would essentially cut off access to public land. The guest blog author claims to be a combat veteran, so it’s surprising to hear that he would not be supportive of SOF getting the best training possible.
If there were an argument to be made, it’s that the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA could potentially suit the needs of the SEALs. The blog also cites multiple anonymous military sources, yet can’t come up with any who are willing to be named. Especially inflammatory is the Esquire piece referencing the blog’s statement that Rep Zinke embellished his military record, a claim that has no merit and has been thoroughly debunked.
After reading the Esquire article, I am surprised the editor published it based on the poor research and reaching accusations. Rep. Zinke is a proven SEAL leader and has been elected twice to Congress. He also has an educational background in geology, a perspective that could be helpful as Secretary of the Interior. Zinke is a rare politician, one who displays strong core values. Those who have personally worked for or with Zinke in the past have nothing but great things to say about him. For example, former Navy SEAL and Force 12 Media CEO Brandon Webb served under Zinke at the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training center. Here is what he said about Ryan Zinke:
I reported to Ryan when I was at Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training center as a young Chief Petty Officer working as the NSW sniper course manager. He is an incredible leader, and strategic thinker. And one of the best bosses I had during my time in the Navy. – Brandon Webb
“I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come. Most important, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve.” – Rep. Zinke