Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington won’t be joining Trump Cabinet after all

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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It looks like the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress won’t be joining the incoming Trump administration and will remain in the House.

Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers had been considered front-runner to head the Interior Department.

The No. 4 House Republican leader posted on Facebook on Tuesday that she was honored to spend time with President-elect Donald Trump but is “energized more than ever to continue leading in Congress as we think big, reimagine this government and put people back at the center of it.”

A source close to McMorris Rodgers said the congresswoman met briefly twice with Trump but was never offered the interior secretary job. The source, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss McMorris Rodgers’ status, said reports that she was offered that job were driven by Trump’s transition team.

The Washington Post said Trump instead tapped GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke, who has represented Montana’s at-large congressional seat for one term, to serve as secretary of the Interior Department.

The Post said, “While Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) was a leading contender for the Interior post in recent days, Zinke hit it off with Trump’s oldest son, Don Jr., an avid hunter, and met personally with the president-elect on Monday in New York City.”

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