For having solely been in workplace a bit of over a 12 months, the top of the Environmental Safety Company, Scott Pruitt, has actually had an eventful tenure. Hardly someday goes by that the information isn’t awash with some new scandal he’s gotten himself into.
First, it was the pointless $43,000 soundproof cellphone sales space he acquired put in at his workplace. Then, it was the $50 an evening rental deal tied to an vitality lobbyist. These days, nonetheless, the scandals have gotten an increasing number of ridiculous — there are reviews of Pruitt asking his staffers to scout for a Trump resort mattress and Ritz-Carlton resort moisturizing cream. What’s up with this man and his obsession with resort stuff? It’s all very humorous, till you understand your taxes are funding all these laughable extravaganzas — and these extravaganzas may perform as a smoke display screen for Pruitt’s threats to the surroundings.
“Scott Pruitt is doing an amazing job inside the partitions of the EPA.”
Pruitt is presently below 12 federal investigations for squandering taxpayer cash, in addition to abusing his energy to advertise or demote EPA staffers. In the meantime, President Donald Trump shrugs: “I’m not saying that he’s innocent, however we’ll see what occurs,” he instructed reporters on the White Home final week. “Scott Pruitt is doing an amazing job inside the partitions of the EPA.”
So, that can assist you maintain observe, right here’s a listing of a few of the weirdest scandals which have marred Pruitt’s tenure.
The One With All of the Fancy Travels
Who likes to fly in coach? Actually nobody, and Pruitt isn’t any exception. The EPA administrator is below investigation for sometimes flying first-class and staying at luxurious accommodations — all on taxpayer cash. For instance, Pruitt spent over $1,600 on a first-class flight from DC to New York in June 2017, roughly six instances the price of a coach seat, in keeping with The Washington Publish. A two-week journey to Italy final 12 months amounted to about $120,000. And tickets to Morocco value US taxpayers over $17,600, in keeping with The Washington Publish.
Pruitt has repeatedly claimed that the first-class flights had been a safety measure. In any case, who likes to be confronted by offended individuals who accuse you of “fucking up the surroundings.” The issue is that earlier EPA directors largely flew in coach and didn’t squander public cash on safety. However Pruitt is so involved about his security that he’s spent about $three.5 million for a 24/7 safety element in his first 12 months in workplace, in keeping with The New York Instances. That lavish spending can be below investigation.
The One The place He Purchased a $43,000 Cellphone Sales space
After taking workplace, Pruitt requested his workplace be geared up with a soundproof cellphone sales space the place he may make non-public calls. Just one downside: the entire set up value $43,000 — and the EPA headquarters already had two services for safe cellphone calls. (The Authorities Accountability Workplace discovered the cellphone sales space, which was not accredited by Congress, broke two federal legal guidelines.) In April, at a Home Vitality and Commerce Committee listening to, Pruitt stated these two safe services on the EPA HQ are “not proper near my workplace,” to which Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) replied: “Is it an excessive amount of to ask you to stroll no matter distance it takes to get to that safe line?” Apparently, it’s.
The One The place He Modified the Locks
Apart from the cellphone sales space, Pruitt requested that his workplace be geared up with one other fancy piece of tech: biometric locks, which use issues like fingerprints plus a pin code to open doorways. Once more, only one downside: the locks value nearly $6,000, in keeping with the Related Press. And Pruitt doesn’t even know what biometric locks are. Think about this trade between Welch and Pruitt on the similar listening to in April:
Welch: “What’s a biometric lock?”
Pruitt: “I’m not solely positive.”
Welch: “No severely, what’s a biometric lock?”
Pruitt: “I don’t know. I simply put a code in.”
After Pruitt confirmed that such locks have been put in in his workplace, Welch requested: “Why?” Sadly, his time was up and the mic was handed to Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA). So, we might by no means know the reply to that query.
The One The place He Wished to Get to Dinner Quick
Once you’re hungry, you’re hungry. And since Pruitt “typically ran late,” in keeping with The New York Instances, he typically requested using flashing lights and sirens to keep away from DC site visitors and get to dinner (or the airport) quick. Pruitt requested for such unorthodox techniques to rapidly get to the French restaurant Le Diplomate, as an example. (His driver refused, in keeping with E&E Information.) Nobody likes to eat chilly escargots à la Bourguignonne.
The One The place He Regarded For a Trump Resort Mattress
Final week, The Washington Publish reported that Pruitt requested an aide to attempt to safe a used mattress from the Trump Worldwide Resort in Washington, DC. I don’t imply to be judgmental, however who needs a used resort mattress? They’re a receptacle of useless pores and skin, bodily fluids, micro organism, and typically bedbugs. It doesn’t matter that the identify of stated mattress was “Trump Residence Luxurious Plush Euro Pillow Prime.”
The aide additionally helped the administrator with different private duties, like house searching and organizing a household journey to California. The issue is that “federal guidelines bar public officers from receiving presents from subordinates, together with unpaid companies, and from utilizing their workplace for personal achieve,” in keeping with The Washington Publish. The unhappy a part of this story? We don’t even know if Pruitt was profitable at securing the low cost mattress for himself.
The One The place He Craved Luxurious Physique Lotion
It’s not simply previous mattresses. Pruitt additionally tasked staffers in his expensive safety element with discovering moisturizing lotion on sale on the Ritz-Carlton accommodations, in keeping with The Washington Publish. His aides had been additionally requested to select up his dry cleansing — all on taxpayer dime, in fact. As with the Trump mattress debacle, asking subordinates to purchase physique lotion and choose up the laundry appears to be a violation of federal guidelines.
The One The place He Job Hunted for His Spouse
Pruitt additionally tried to make use of his clout as EPA administrator to get his spouse a job — because the operator of a Chick-fil-A franchise, in keeping with The Washington Publish. That’s problematic as a result of public officers shouldn’t use their energy to get favors in return, and as with the Trump mattress and the physique lotion, Pruitt had EPA employees assist with this non-public matter; one in all his aides emailed the Chick-fil-A chief govt on his behalf, The Washington Publish reviews. The job searching didn’t go properly, nonetheless. Pruitt’s spouse by no means accomplished her Chick-fil-A utility.
The One The place It By no means Ends
As Pruitt faces the federal probes, an increasing number of particulars of his questionable habits as EPA chief are prone to be made public. Which means extra ridiculous scandals to debate at dinner, but additionally extra distraction from Pruitt’s dismantling of environmental laws. Since taking workplace, the EPA head has labored to roll again a number of laws, such because the Clear Energy Plan, which was designed to cut back greenhouse fuel emissions to deal with local weather change. Since Pruitt appears to have the president’s assist, he may maintain his job for some time longer.