Ryan Zinke’s back — although this time, he isn’t making his debut on horseback. After two years as Department of Interior Secretary, Zinke is now — in his own words — trying to make a cryptocurrency company "great again."
Zinke's the new managing director of Artillery One, a blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm that’s apparently thrilled to have him. Last week, he and his boss went to a fancy hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, to talk about tech and finance.
“Secretary Zinke is a dynamic individual who has served this country, and he deserves the attention. He's a man to look up to,” Daniel Cannon, the CEO of Artillery One and Zinke’s new boss, said at the conference. “I'm very proud that he's part of Artillery One.”
Zinke also seems delighted to be at the company. Despite his lack of obvious experience with tech and blockchain, he’s picking up some of the lingo.
“We're going to concentrate on cybersecurity, and look for opportunities on blockchain, and also look at the regulatory structure, and look at our part to make sure that that structure doesn't inhibit the opportunity of blockchain itself,” he said.
The conference also gave Zinke the opportunity to explain his departure from the Trump administration — without mentioning the many ethics investigations underway when he resigned. Most notably, Zinke spent thousands of dollars to charter a plane to chat with a Las Vegas pro-hockey team.
“D.C. has become a very angry, very hateful city,” Zinke told VICE News. “The sides are divided into a red team and a blue team. As a former military commander, I'm red, white, and blue — and for me, it was time.”
This segment originally aired January 24, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.