Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is under fire for multiple scandals. Pruitt got a sweetheart deal to rent a swanky Washington, D.C., condo for $50 a night from the wife of a top lobbyist, paying only for the nights he was in town. Pruitt's adult daughter also stayed in the condo, violating the terms of the lease. That lobbyist then got what he wanted from the EPA. The Atlantic now reports that Pruitt went around the White House giving big raises to two top aides. And that's on top of ongoing scandals about Pruitt's high-priced travel and coziness with industry execs.
President Donald Trump reportedly called Pruitt on the evening of April 2 to offer him words of encouragement.
NEW: Trump called EPA chief Scott Pruitt last night and said keep your head up, keep fighting, we’ve got your back.
He reassured him, I’m told.
Chief Kelly called this morning to reinforce the president’s message.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 3, 2018
The next morning, Fox & Friends, Trump’s favorite show, covered Pruitt's scandals for just 20 seconds in a headlines segment.
On America’s Newsroom, anchor Bill Hemmer downplayed Pruitt’s corruption, falsely reporting that Pruitt is just "under fire from some for a housing arrangement he had during the transition period." Hemmer failed to mention that Pruitt had been underpaying for his lobbyist-owned Washington, D.C., apartment for six months.
These new misdeeds follow a long line of Pruitt scandals and corruption:
- Pruitt lied to senators about his use of a private email account.
- An EPA appointee appeared to violate Trump's ethics order on lobbyists.
- Pruitt met with oil executives at Trump’s hotel in Washington D.C., then backed away from a regulation on oil companies.
- Pruitt gave a Superfund job to a failed banker whose bank had given loans to Pruitt.
- Pruitt's security team drew staff away from criminal investigations.
- Pruitt spent nearly $43,000 on a private soundproof booth.
- Pruitt spent more than $58,000 on charter and military flights during his first seven months at EPA.
- Pruitt met with a mining CEO, then immediately started clearing the way for his proposed mine.
- Pruitt spent $40,000 on a trip to Morocco to promote natural gas.
- The EPA hired a GOP opposition research firm whose vice president had investigated EPA employees.
- Pruitt spent $90,000 on first-class flights and other travel in a single week.
- Pruitt flew luxury business class on a foreign airline.
- Pruitt met with trucking executives, then preserved a loophole to benefit their company.
- The EPA has been hit with a record number of anti-secrecy lawsuits.
- An EPA public affairs official was given the OK to do outside media consulting.
- EPA awarded a bug-sweeping contract to a business associate of Pruitt’s head of security.
- Almost half of EPA political appointees have strong industry ties.
- Pruitt appointed the vice president of a polluting company to the EPA’s environmental justice advisory council.
- Pruitt spread a bogus story about how much Obama’s EPA chiefs spent on travel, got friendly journalists to cite the story, and then cited that story to defend himself.