Republican Ryan Zinke, the former United States Secretary of the Interior under former President Donald Trump, is facing criticism after he was caught listing a hotel as his Montana address while running for Congress.
The information came out after Tom Winter, Zinke's Democratic opponent, decided to see if Zinke's address checked out only to discover the "residence" is in fact a hotel.
In a tweet, Winter referred to Zinke as the "most corrupt politician of my lifetime."
Stopped by the place that full-time Californian Ryan Zinke is claiming as his residence so he can run for Congress in Montana...and it’s a hotel.
The king of the grift & most corrupt politician of my lifetime #mtpol #mtnews #mt01 pic.twitter.com/kImbveBa25
— Tom Winter (@WinterForMT) December 6, 2021
This is not the first time Zinke's candidacy has courted controversy: Last month it emerged that he spends most of his time in Santa Barbara, California living on his wife's watch.
The latest discovery has drawn the ire of social media users who criticized Zinke and have urged Montanans to vote for his opponent.
Thread, Zinke was bad, he's still bad.
Link to donate to Tom the progressive for MT in the thread.
Good luck, Tom! https://t.co/YBMUQoboxe
— I was a host body (@capeannsky) December 7, 2021
Corrupt @RyanZinke must not win our 2nd congressional seat. #mtpol https://t.co/w2svPCdOvl
— #GetVaxxedStat (@alisonbuckley) December 7, 2021
What IS it with these #MAGAts trying to run for office in states they don't even live in?
Ohhh....its because you can't win at home because they KNOW YOU at home, don't they?
I sure hope people don't fall for this fraud... https://t.co/bTyoX1E02z
— Lynda Fette (@FetteLynda) December 7, 2021
@RyanZinke corrupt piece of garbage https://t.co/1DRiQcsulr
— saveourdemocracy (@LTCDC1) December 7, 2021
Hey, Montana friends, be careful of the #GOP grifters. https://t.co/YXm7GkJp1v
— 🎏 FishingDB #Democracy! 🇺🇲 (@FishingDB1965) December 7, 2021
So the man who sole purpose is destroy public lands for greed is a grifter? I am so shocked.#RyanZinke #Montana #GOPBetrayedAmerica https://t.co/sfTSG9rG8J
— Liz "Pro Choice. Her Body Her Choice" Dylan (@LizDylan123) December 7, 2021
Once a scumbag, always and forever a scumbag. https://t.co/jZ6l2KUSUj
— 🇺🇸 * A Brand New Day * 🇺🇸 (@Flibbertyjibit) December 7, 2021
Here you go @RawStory, have fun with the Cosplay Navy Seal who claims to have residency in Montana. @RyanZinke is a fraud! https://t.co/tNcTuPLF7r
— OldMTRezBoyInASmallTownRetiredTeacher/Coach (@MTRezCoach) December 7, 2021
Zinke's candidacy marks his attempt at a comeback after resigning from the Trump administration in disgrace after his expenditures, which included expensive flights, attracted the attention of congressional watchdog groups and were referred to the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General.
The investigation into Zinke was later referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Amid the scandal, Zinke chose to turn in his resignation.
At the time of his departure from office, he was the subject of a federal probe into a "Montana land deal" between a foundation Zinke created and the chairman of Halliburton, one of the world's largest oil field service companies.
As Secretary of the Interior, Zinke oversaw reversals of Obama-era decisions, including a proposed regulation to lift National Park Service hunting restrictions established during the Obama administration to allow hunters to kill black bears and wolves in national preserves in Alaska.
Former President Trump weathered heavy criticisms from environmentalist groups after he empowered Zinke to review any national monument created since Jan. 1, 1996.
The sweeping review was widely condemned, and environmentalists charged that it was little more than a ploy to cater to fossil fuel interests, energy companies, and real estate developers.