U.S. Interior chief defends travel spending, blasts 'insults'

U.S. Interior chief defends travel spending, blasts 'insults'By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday defended his use of private planes and challenged reports of lavish spending, saying he was tired of "innuendo" and "insults." Zinke, who spoke before a Senate committee, has been dogged by the release of details of his use of charter planes and helicopters for travel, as well as recent receipts showing the department spent more than $130,000 to install new doors at his office at a time of proposed budget cuts and fee hikes at national parks. "I resent the fact of your insults, and I resent the fact that you mislead," Zinke told Senator Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee, after she pressed him on his spending. The hearing concerned the Interior Department's 2019 budget.

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