Unlike climate change, this actually is a hoax.

Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief was already an embarrassment, but now he has been caught in a humiliating lie about an imaginary partnership.

Climate change denier Scott Pruitt has spent his first year as head of Trump’s EPA doing everything he can to undermine environmental protections, while cynically trying to take credit for work that was done by the Obama administration.

And at a congressional hearing in December, Pruitt tried to take credit for something that wasn’t, and isn’t, happening at all.

In response to questions about a negative report from the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General that criticized the agency for failing to perform a workload analysis, Pruitt assured the committee that he was hard at work solving the problem.

“We are actually partnering with Toyota to begin a lean process at the agency to evaluate management practices,” Pruitt told Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL).

Pruitt’s claim drew outcry from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which called on Toyota to end the partnership because Pruitt’s plan was actually “cover for his real agenda of destroying the agency’s ability to do its job.”

But the group need not have worried. It turns out that the partnership never existed.

In a letter responding to EWG, Toyota executive Christopher Reynolds explained that while the company had “had preliminary discussions” with the EPA on such a project, “at this point there are no definitive plans to move forward with a project.”

The company also told Huffington Post that those preliminary discussions “have ended.”

Just like the false claims of 50,000 newly employed coal miners, the wholly fabricated Bowling Green Massacre, Trump’s blatant lies about U.S. Muslims celebrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and his absurd insistence that President Barack Obama wiretapped him, this story about a partnership between Toyota and the EPA is complete nonsense.

Which means it fits right in with the Trump administration’s twisted worldview.