Amid jostling for Biden energy roles, New Mexicans stake claim on Interior

The state’s Rep. Deb Haaland and Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have become increasingly visible in pitching themselves as potential heads of the Interior Department, sources following the jockeying said.

Haaland, the vice chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, didn’t deny her interest in the role as she touted her potential inclusion in a potential candidates’ list as a historic first.

“I’m honored that people believe in my leadership in protecting our public lands and combating climate change,” said the first-term House member who previously served as the state’s Democratic Party chair. “It is also meaningful that our country has finally reached the point where having the first Native American Cabinet Secretary is a serious consideration. I am open to those opportunities where I can best serve New Mexico, Indian Country and our country at large.”

Udall’s office declined to comment, and pointed to his March 2019 announcement that he would not seek reelection to the Senate but that he was not done with public life.

“Now, I’m most certainly not retiring,” Udall said in that video. “I intend to find new ways to serve New Mexico and our country after I finish this term. There will be more chapters in my public service to do what needs to be done.”

A source familiar with Udall’s thinking told POLITICO he would consider the position if asked.

Udall comes from a storied political family. His father, Stewart Udall, led Interior for eight years under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations where he oversaw the dramatic expansion of millions of acres of public lands and assisted in passage of bedrock environmental statues, such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Haaland’s backers are pushing for her to make history as the first Native American to serve in a presidential cabinet. She’s also teamed up with Udall as a lead sponsor of a resolution S. Res. 372 (116) setting a national goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. land and oceans by 2030.

Staff for Heinrich, now in his second term in the Senate, demurred when asked about his interest, with one aide saying that he “is laser focused on doing absolutely everything in his power to ensure Joe Biden is elected president, so we can end Trump’s war on our public land and put millions of Americans back to work restoring our natural resources.”

Heinrich has played key roles behind-the-scenes in getting two major public lands packages —the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, S. 47 (116) and the Great American Outdoors Act, H.R. 1957 (116) — across the finish line this Congress. And he led Democrats’ charge to remove William Perry Pendley from atop the Bureau of Land Management, and is well-connected within influential sportsmens groups.

All three New Mexicans have been visible surrogates for the Biden campaign. Haaland is a member of the campaign’s Climate Engagement Advisory Council and hosted a fundraiser for the campaign alongside Udall in late June. Heinrich hosted his own fundraiser

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Dems claim POW/MIA flag’s move from atop White House to on-site memorial dishonors troops

President Trump is under fire this week from Democrats who claim he’s disrespected veterans by moving a POW/MIA flag from atop the White House to an on-site memorial.

At issue is the implementation of S.693 — the National POW/MIA Flag Act — which was signed into law in November and increases the frequency and locations the POW/MIA flag is flown on federal properties.

Bill sponsor Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other colleagues signed a letter framing the move as a sign of disrespect toward the military community.

“This decision to abruptly move the POW/MIA Flag from atop the White House to an area that is apparently not visible to the public may violate federal law and does not appropriately honor the service and sacrifices of American prisoners of war, missing servicemembers, and their families,” the letter read, Reuters reported Friday.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a co-sponsor of the bill, also lambasted the decision.

“It’s part of a pattern of disrespect by President Trump toward those who honorably served our nation,” the Democrat said.

Their protest comes in the wake of an Atlantic article in which an anonymous source claimed Mr. Trump called fallen military personnel “losers” and “suckers.”

The president has denied the claims.

Multiple witnesses to the alleged conversation — including former national security adviser John Bolton — have publicly rejected the story.

“President Trump dedicated a POW/MIA memorial site earlier this year on the White House grounds to forever remember our heroic service members who were prisoners of war or missing in action,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told Reuters. “The president selected a site on the Southwest corner of the South Lawn for this prominent and sacred memorial, which is visible to all those who visit the White House, that features the POW/MIA flag.”

Mr. Trump also proclaimed Sept. 20 to be National POW/MIA Recognition Day last year.

“My Administration is dedicated to locating and identifying the more than 81,000 American service members unaccounted for — many of whom were former prisoners of war — to help alleviate the grieving and prolonged uncertainty of their families,” he wrote. “We vow to pursue the fullest possible accounting of these gallant patriots.”

“I call upon the people of the United States to join me in saluting all American POWs and those missing in action who valiantly served our country,” he continued. “I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

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Princess Diana’s Former Butler Makes Claim About What She Buried in Kensington Palace Garden, and He’s Not the Only One

Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris more than two decades ago but even after her death, there has been no shortage of conspiracy theories and outrageous claims about the princess. They include Diana having a long lost daughter, the princess predicting her own death months before it happened, and being pregnant with another child when she was killed.

The majority of stories about the princess rely on one person’s word. However, a wild claim thrown out there by Diana’s former employee is being corroborated by another person who witnessed it. Here’s what Diana’s former butler says he helped her bury in the Kensington Palace garden and who else knew about it.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Bettmann / Contributor Getty Images

RELATED: This Is the Very First Thing Prince Charles Said When He Heard Princess Diana Died

What Diana’s former butler says she buried in the garden

Paul Burrell worked for the late princess from 1987 to 1997. After she passed away, he revealed a number of things about his former boss. His choice to talk publicly about the princess’s private life has been viewed as poor taste, but one revelation has really raised some eyebrows especially since someone else is claiming it did happen.

The Express noted that in his 2006 book The Way We Were, Burrell wrote that he aided Princess Diana’s in burying a body. According to Burrell, Diana’s best friend Rosa Monckton gave birth to a stillborn baby in 1994 and they buried the infant in the garden. This may sound a little far-fetched but more than a decade after Burrell revealed the secret, Monckton finally decided to speak about the incident.

Monckton, who is the former Asprey & Garrard CEO, told Australia’s Channel 7’s Sunday Night show that she and her husband, newspaper editor Dominic Lawson, did have a stillborn child. She added that Diana offered to bury the child in the garden.

Princess Diana with her butler, Paul Burrell, in 1994
Princess Diana with her butler, Paul Burrell, in 1994 | Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images

Monckton recalled that when Burrell asked how they would get through security Diana said, “I’m going to tell the chief inspector that we’re going to bury a pet in the garden. Only you, I, and Rosa will know it’s a baby.”

Diana’s close pal remembered that they had an emotional ceremony and then Diana gave her a key to the garden, which remains in her possession to this day. Monckton described what the Princess of Wales’ did as “an extraordinary thing.”

Following the loss of her baby, Monckton and Lawson had another child named Domenica and Princess Diana was her godmother.

A body was recently found on the grounds of Kensington Palace

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

In September 2020,  the Daily Mail reported that human remains were found at Kensington Palace. Those remains though were pulled from a pond and are of an adult female who was falsely identified initially as missing artist Endellion Lycett Green.

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