Even Zinke's socks cause controversy

Even Secretary of the Interior Zinke's socks drew protests during his visit to South Dakota Tuesday.

MOUNT RUSHMORE, S.D. (KEVN) - When Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited Mount Rushmore Tuesday, his speech was interrupted by a single protester asking the secretary if he was planning to resign given recent events.

Last week, the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizens called for a conflict of interest investigation into his connection to a land deal between gas and oil giant Halliburton and a foundation run by Zinke's family.

Larger protests arranged in Rapid City were focused on Zinke's decision to reopen an Obama-era conservation plan for Sage Grouse.

Zinke rejected our requests for comment and dismissed the protester at Mount Rushmore as "rude."

Even Zinke's socks were a lightning rod for controversy Tuesday.

Before speaking at Mount Rushmore, Zinke tweeted a photo of himself wearing socks with President Donald Trump's face and the slogan "Make America Great Again."

After complaints from groups that he was violating federal law, he deleted the photo and later apologized, re-posting it with the political slogan blacked out.

Zinke claimed he didn't realize it could be viewed as a political slogan.

He was in South Dakota for the Western Governors' Association's annual meeting.

Governors from the region attended the speech including those from South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.

Zinke spoke on land conservation, economic development and took questions from the governors.