Zinke: Patagonia's Claim About Trump Is 'Nefarious'

Interior secretary calls it a 'lie'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2017 3:45 PM CST
Zinke: Claim That Trump 'Stole' Public Land Is a 'Lie'
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke takes the stage before President Donald Trump speaks at the Utah State Capitol Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is strongly disputing a claim by outdoor retailer Patagonia that President Trump "stole" public land by shrinking two national monuments in Utah. Zinke calls the claim—made in large type on the company's home page—"nefarious, false and a lie." Zinke said in a conference call Tuesday that "it's shameful and appalling" that Patagonia and other retailers "would blatantly lie in order to get money in their coffers," reports the AP. He continued, per the Hill, "You mean Patagonia made in China? This is an example of a special interest. What one square inch was stolen?" Patagonia replaced its usual home page Monday night with a stark message declaring, "The President Stole Your Land," which called Trump's actions to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments "illegal."

In the call, Zinke made clear that he'd like to see more shrinking occur: The Washington Post reports Trump had tasked Zinke with reviewing the 27 national monuments established since 1996, and Zinke confirmed that he'd like to see Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou reduced by an unspecified amount. As for Patagonia, it didn't back down following Zinke's comments, with a rep telling the Hill, "Secretary Zinke's definition of a special interest is someone who hasn't flown him around on a private jet. We have been fighting for these lands for decades, so that hunters, fishers, hikers and everyone else can use them and help us protect them."

(Read more Bears Ears National Monument stories.)

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