‘We’re cleaning up the mess,’ Salazar tells Daily Show’s Stewart

Bearing his signature bolo tie and hat, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar traded quips with Jon Stewart in a jovial but news-free interview Thursday night on The Daily Show. “We’re cleaning up the mess” left by the Bush administration, the former Colorado senator told Stewart, acknowledging “maybe it’s quite a mess.”

“I’m gonna wear that everywhere,” Stewart said after Salazar presented the host with his own cowboy hat and bolo tie, though Salazar had to point out Stewart first donned the hat backwards.

In the brief interview, Salazar and Stewart take a jab at the infamous $235,000 bathroom renovation by former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, Salazar’s predecessor.

Stewart asks how Salazar is cleaning up the Minerals Management Service scandal, which found oil-and-gas companies “literally in bed” with the Lakewood-based agency responsible for collecting billions in royalties for drilling on public lands.

“We continue to clean up the mess every day,” Salazar said, pointing to a revised Interior Department ethics code he established shortly after winning confirmation. He blames “a few bad apples at the very top [who] essentially created lots of problems,” and says, “they’re out.”

Here’s Jon Stewart’s Daily Show interview with Salazar:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Ken Salazar
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