Warren: David Bernhardt Is the ‘Ultimate Swamp Creature’
Elizabeth Warren is clearly a reader of Mother Jones magazine. On Thursday, Mother Jones published a piece about David Bernhardt, the second-in-command at the Department of the Interior. Mother Jones called Bernhardt an “ex-oil lobbyist straight out of the swamp.” Warren calls him “the ultimate swamp creature.”
Bernhardt has been getting a little extra attention in the media lately because of rumors that Trump may be eyeing his boss, Ryan Zinke, to take over as ambassador to the United Nations after Nikki Haley leaves at the end of the year. If that happens, then Bernhardt would likely take over Zinke’s position as head of the Interior Department.
The non-profit watchdog group Campaign for Accountability said that Bernhardt should be investigated for continuing to work as a lobbyist even after joining the Trump transition team. You can read their complaint about Bernhardt here.
A host of other environmentalist groups wrote to the Senate to oppose Bernhardt’s appointment to the Department of the Interior. The groups charged that, after spending years as a lobbbyist, Bernhardt was far too close to industry. The groups wrote, “After spending years lobbying for the oil and gas industry, big agribusiness and water profiteers, Mr. Bernhardt is laden with conflicts of interest that raise serious questions about his ability to act in the public interest. Further, during his tenure as solicitor of the Department of the Interior, the agency’s chief ethics officer, political appointees engaged in ethical lapses and decisions that sacrificed science and the environment to line corporate pockets.”