McConnell, upon hearing that Trump was mulling Zinke as the Secretary of the Interior, reportedly contacted Vice President-elect Mike Pence and soon-to-be White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus earlier this week to ask them to change course.
But McConnell’s efforts ultimately failed, as Trump announced the appointment of Zinke on Thursday.
McConnell, seeking to increase the GOP’s Senate majority, had been working to convince Zinke to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in 2018.
Donald Trump Jr. influenced Trump’s ultimate choice of Zinke, the report said.