Ryan Zinke, U.S. secretary of interior, speaks during an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
Zach Gibson—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Associated Press
October 27, 2017

(WASHINGTON) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he “had absolutely nothing to do” with a $300 million contract awarded to a small company from his hometown to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid.

In a statement Friday, Zinke labeled as “completely baseless” any “attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract” involving Whitefish Energy Holdings.

The contract for the tiny company based in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana, has drawn a bipartisan chorus of criticism from Capitol Hill. The internal watchdog at the Department of Homeland Security says it is investigating the contract and will look for any “inappropriate relationships” associated with it.

Zinke said he welcomes “any and all investigations” and encouraged the Interior Department’s inspector general to review the matter.

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