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STATEMENT on the nomination of David Bernhardt as Deputy Interior Secretary

DENVER—The White House this morning announced President Trump nominated David Bernhardt to be the Deputy Secretary of the Interior. The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Media Director Aaron Weiss:

“David Bernhardt is a walking conflict of interest. If he does not recuse himself from working on issues he has profited from as a lobbyist, he will be the embodiment of the Washington swamp—taking a high-level government job to help his private sector partners cash in. If Bernhardt does recuse himself from all his conflicts, he’ll have nothing to work on at Interior.”

The Center for Western Priorities last week documented several of Bernhardt’s conflicts of interest, ranging from his work on behalf of the U.S. subsidiary of a Russian-American oligarch’s oil conglomerate, to a company that’s determined to drain water from the Mojave desert despite dire warnings about the project’s impact on wildlife.

While at the Department of the Interior under the George W. Bush administration, Bernhardt was connected to several ethical lapses. As Interior Solicitor, he sided with a political appointee, Julie MacDonald, who doctored reports from government scientists and passed sensitive internal documents on to industry lawyers. Bernhardt also forced out a whistleblower, Robert McCarthy, who exposed mismanagement of Indian Trust funds.

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4 days ago
A riveting first-person account from @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf about how her first bow hunt turned her into a public lands advocate for life.

https://t.co/iGyLWHZZpS
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NEW PODCAST: @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf describes how her first bowhunt turned her into a public lands activist for life.

https://t.co/jrFZxOUHgw
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UPDATE on Rep. Mike Noel’s undisclosed land that magically got cut out of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. Fact-check from @Western_Values:

https://t.co/JyV5Xd6C5J
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New from @GregorZimmer: The Land & Water Conservation Fund is wildly popular with Republicans and Democrats in Montana. So why is @SecretaryZinke trying to defund it?

https://t.co/hiuJlwTozz https://t.co/QoaYYRsvXq
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