WASHINGTON (CNN) — A preliminary investigation into contact between Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and two Alaska senators regarding support for health care legislation has been dropped, the Interior Department inspector general said Wednesday.
The Alaska Dispatch News reported Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan both heard from Zinke, who reportedly relayed President Donald Trump’s displeasure with Murkowski’s vote against the Republican health care bill.
Democratic Reps. Frank Pallone and Raul Grijalva requested an investigation into the matter on July 27, but deputy inspector general Mary Kendall said both Republican senators declined to take part in the investigation.
“OIG does not believe that it could meaningfully investigate the matter further,” she wrote, referring to the Office of the Inspector General, also concluding that “further investigation would prove unproductive.”
“It was not a very pleasant call,” Murkowski told E&E News about her conversation with Zinke, whose department has no direct role in efforts to reform health care. Zinke’s office at the time disputed that there was any tension during the call.
Murkowski told CNN’s Dana Bash in August that she “did not take it as a threat,” and Murkowski and Zinke eventually reconciled over beers.
CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.
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