"I think he thought his department was more about energy than ... science"

He’s also made some new pals. He’s naturally closest with the fellow veterans Mattis and Kelly, the former with whom he served in Iraq, but he’s also become good friends with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (the two, along with their wives, sat together at Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent Washington wedding. “We all danced a bit,” Zinke says). He’s fond of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, too. “Secretary Perry is a wonderful guy,” he says. “I think he thought his department was more about energy than…science. Mostly, it’s science. And, of course, they also have responsibility of our nuclear arsenal. Interior is the one that produces energy…we laugh a lot about it.” Couched in Zinke’s charming, folksy affect, such a worrisome admission sounds somehow less troubling—more like an inside joke, a quirky facet of Club Cabinet.