Washington state’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell blasted Interior Secretary, and former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, calling his recent comments questioning the loyalty of a percentage of employees at the Interior Department a cheap shot.  Cantwell is the top Democrat on the Senate energy and natural resources committee. She said in a statement that U.S.Department of the Interior employees [quote] “deserve respect from the man charged with leading them — not cheap shots in the press.” [end quote]

Zinke made the comments on Monday in a speech to an oil industry group, saying 30% of the employees at his department were [quote] “not loyal to the flag,” [end quote], and were at odds with the Trump administration, according to an Associated Press report. The U.S. Interior Department reportedly did not respond to requests for comment from several news agencies.