WH Distances From Whitefish Energy’s Puerto Rico Deal: ‘We Have No Role’

TPMStaff

Whitefish Energy is only two years old, only has two full-time employees, and has never taken on a task as vast as the one presented by Puerto Rico’s storm-damaged infrastructure. But it shares a hometown with the secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, and is financed by major Trump donors.

“This is a contract that was determined by the local authorities in Puerto Rico, not something that the federal government played a role in,” Sanders said at a press briefing Friday, asked if the White House was concerned about the deal. “But as we understand, there is an ongoing audit and we’ll look forward to seeing the results of that later.”

She added, asked about Trump’s donors’ ties to the company: “The federal government has nothing to do with this contract or the process. This was something solely determined by the Puerto Rican government.”

Zinke met with Trump on Friday to discuss a report from the Interior Department on national monuments (Zinke wants to shrink some of them).

“And that was the reason for the meeting,” Sanders assured of the report, before referring to Trump: “But he did ask Secretary Zinke, just for clarification purposes, and he reiterated once again that we have no role, the federal government, and specifically he had no role in that contract.”