Mar 8, 2018, 7:53 PM ET

Interior to spend $139,000 on new doors for Zinke's office


The Interior Department plans to spend more than $139,000 on new doors and repairs for Sec. Ryan Zinke's office at the department's headquarters in Washington, D.C., the agency confirmed to ABC News on Thursday.

The purchase is the latest in a series of questionable agency expenses connected to President Donald Trump's cabinet leaders. Last week the Department of Housing and Urban Development canceled an order for a $31,000 dining set for Sec. Ben Carson's office suite.

Federal contracting records show that the Interior Department signed an order for $139,669.68 described only as "Secretary's Door" on Nov. 6 of last year. The order was supposed to be completed by the end of that month but was later amended to be completed by the end of January.

PHOTO: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in his office in a photo posted to his Twitter account, March 1, 2018.Secretary Ryan Zinke/Twitter
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in his office in a photo posted to his Twitter account, March 1, 2018.

Interior Spokeswoman Heather Swift said in a statement that Secretary Ryan Zinke was not aware of the order before the Associated Press report on Thursday and agrees that it is too expensive. The AP first reported the story.

“This project was requested by career facilities and security officials at Interior as part of the decade-long modernization of the historic FDR-era building. The secretary was not aware of this contract but agrees that this is a lot of money for demo, install, materials, and labor," Swift said in a statement to ABC News. "Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical. This is a perfect example of why the Secretary believes we need to reform procurement processes.”

The order has been planned since last summer to replace three sets of double doors in the secretary's office, according to a statement from Joe Nassar, director of the office of facilities and administrative services at Interior Department.

Nassar said in his statement that two sets of doors that lead outside have been in disrepair and allow air and water into the office during inclement weather, which then damages the wooden floor. The order would replace those with fiberglass and repair an interior set of doors while preserving the existing fixtures.

He said the doors were last replaced about 11 years ago.

"The cost is reasonable when taking into account there are two sets of double doors, the doors must be custom built, they must meet historic building requirements, includes both sets of door frames, demo of the current structure and installation," Nassar said in the statement. "In order to control costs, the contractual documents included a request to use existing door handles, locks and latches. The contract and the amount also included repairs to the interior double doors."

PHOTO: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in his office in a photo posted to his Twitter account, March 1, 2018.Secretary Ryan Zinke/Twitter
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in his office in a photo posted to his Twitter account, March 1, 2018.

Zinke has been under scrutiny for his spending on travel, which has been an issue with several other cabinet officials. Interior's inspector general is currently looking into whether all of Zinke's spending followed proper procedures.

Democrats on a committee with oversight of Interior quickly weighed in on Twitter asking Zinke to explain the expense.

And Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted "think how many dining sets" or private jets Zinke could have chartered with that money.

News - Interior to spend $139,000 on new doors for Zinke's office

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  • JoyR

    My new door cost $139 bucks off of craigslist.. I think he should shop there as well!!

  • T.J.

    I wonder what the old doors cost, Hopefully these ones are a little better quality as it seems that for this kind of money doors should last a lot longer than 11 years.

  • skyparrot

    Carson a piker compared to Zinke.

  • Sheila Moore

    I'm trying to figure out why this office has two doors leading directly to the outside, apparently open enough to get water coming through. All cabinet officials and senior executives should, for security purposes, have office entrances only through other offices with security in place. If water can get through, so can 1 guy and a good kick.

  • helicohunter

    It sounds outrageous, but refurbishing historic buildings is a pain. I work in one and it's full of lead paint and asbestos, besides the fact that you can't buy stuff off the shelf. Repairs are a major hassle.

  • Bluefire

    Well Ben acted all confused as to who ordered the dining set, maybe he can try that too?

  • Bluefire

    Maybe it's bullet proof.

  • darksock

    $139,000? Why, that's enough to buy a Stormy Daniels!

  • jon rhodes

    Must be a "smart" door.

  • QuestionAuth

    Only a Trump stooge wouldn't be outraged

  • Cleo

    My contractor will do the entire job for $48,000.

  • RettasVegas

    The corruption in this WH is never ending...
    Will we even have a country left in Nov. when we take it back from the GOP?

  • Andrew

    True, Trump was supposed to "drain the swamp", but don't act like this kind of wasteful spending doesn't happen on both sides.

  • JesterMarcus

    They must have shopped at Real Fake Doors.

  • Jack25

    These people expect us to pay for a Wall?

  • Chuck

    Hope all your children and grandchildren have really good jobs so they can afford that taxed that are going to be required to pay for all the goodies added to the National Debt in just one year. Too damn funny.

  • Chuck

    These Pathetics think it's all part of the trillion dollar infrastructure plan.

  • tatertaut

    What has happened to fiscal responsibility with this entire administration, I wonder. Out the window it went, or rather, out the door, I guess.

  • Bernard Sandan

    Drain the swamp, go to Loews or Home Depot , 21 trillion dollars in debt and growing everyday !!!
    How can you pay AMERICA ????

  • MAGreenA

    You have to keep out those who Zinke will be running from the rest of his days. Also elephants and lions that I hope dance in his head at night since he is in the current administration's hunting club.

  • jims444

    I hope all these fiscally conservative "Trumpites" see what their "boys" are doing now that they have a free hand to go through your tax dollars. In fact, Trump has spend as much on his trips to Mar--A-Lago playing golf as it would cost to fund "meals on wheels" for the elderly and disabled. If you aren't ashamed by now, then you have no shame.

  • takncarabizniz

    It's MY money and I also say, THAT'S TOO MUCH !
    There should be a better vetting process for procurement. Waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending has always been an issue. The only thing changing now is that there is an administration under a microscope and the media is loving every minute of the drama.


    The swamp is worse than ever.

  • swellswell

    Why do the doors need to be replaced after only 11 years? Doors should last a lot longer than that - unless the work was shoddy in the first place.

  • highway_99

    Is anyone surprised that these particular individuals feel entitled to spend tax money as it it were their own?