Scott Pruitt is drowning in scandals and even Republicans are calling for his firing — but he's 'dumbfounded' by it all.
Desperate to hang onto his scandal-plagued job, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt ran to the conservative press to complain that he’s being targeted for criticism because he’s such a strong Trump supporter.
It’s a transparent attempt to hide behind Trump in the hopes that he can use that vaulted victim status to keep his job.
Touting Trump’s “courage and commitment,” Pruitt laid it on thick during his damage-control interview with the Washington Times, insisting his critics will use “use any means” necessary to stop him.
“It’s toxic here in that regard,” he whined. “It’s frustrating.”
But even some Republican members of Congress, who have been loath to criticize Trump’s team, are demanding Pruitt be fired for his blatant pattern of “corruption” and personal enhancement:
Major policy differences aside, @EPAScottPruitt‘s corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers. It's time for him to resign or for @POTUS to dismiss him. https://t.co/gXWLDffqam
— Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) April 3, 2018
Pruitt boasts a long list of corruption to choose from.
Most recently, he has been embroiled for “leasing” a luxury Washington D.C. condo on a per-night basis from an energy lobbyist at far below market value, even while the EPA approved a pipeline extension for a company represented by that lobbyist’s firm.
Pruitt’s daughter also benefited from the sweetheart condo deal, which cost them just $50 a night. (Upscale Washington, D.C. hotels charge well over $300 for a room.)
“I don’t know how you survive this one,” New Jersey’s former governor, Republican Chris Christie, recently commented. “And if he has to go, it’s because he never should have been there in the first place.”
Still, Pruitt insists he has no idea why the obvious conflict of interest is a problem. “I’m dumbfounded that that’s controversial,” he told the Times.
That controversy comes after months of criticism over Pruitt’s spending lavishly on first-class flights and luxury hotels, including $2,600 flights to to Oklahoma, a $120,000 trip to Italy, and a $40,000 visit to Morocco. In October 2017 alone, he spent $58,000 on chartered flights.
All the time Pruitt’s billing taxpayers for his 24-hour Secret Service protection, which even accompanied him and his family to Disneyland at taxpayers’ expense.
Pruitt clearly enjoys the high life. The EPA has explored leasing a private jet for approximately $100,000 a month, according to a recent Washington Post report.
He also likes having other people pay for his long weekends. During the month of June 2017, he “spent nearly half the spring months taking extended weekend trips to and from his home state of Oklahoma, paid for mostly by taxpayers.”
Should Pruitt be panicked? Note that former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign after spending roughly $1 million on military and charter flights.
That’s why Pruitt’s now hugging Trump even tighter.