Scott Pruitt's Fancy-Pen-Buying Days Are Numbered

Scott Pruitt directed EPA aide to help his wife find a job at Chick-fil-A adding to his ethical scandals

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Appropriations Committee during a hearing on the 2019 Fiscal Year EPA budget at the Capitol on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. At that event, the Associated Press said one of its reporters, who was denied entry, was grabbed by security guards and forcibly shoved out of the building after asking to speak to a public affairs person.

Pruitt spoke Wednesday to a correspondent for Nexstar Media Group.

President Donald Trump is standing by his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, even as the scandals and federal investigations continue to mount. "And you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit", Trump said.

What that meant: Pruitt was seeking to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise. She told the House panel that Pruitt had her ask about getting an "old mattress" from the Trump hotel at about the same time he was moving to a new apartment in Washington.

This week congressional Democrats released the transcript of an interview in which Millan Hupp, a close aide to Pruitt, said the administrator had her carry out personal errands, including researching the purchase of an old mattress from the Trump International Hotel.

Pruitt's wife never got that franchise, as first reported by the Washington Post.

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Pruitt also directed the elder Hupp, an Oklahoman like her boss, to book a personal trip to the Rose Bowl for him and search for housing for him in the Washington area, she told the investigators. The focus of almost a dozen federal inquiries into his travel expenses, security practices and other issues, Pruitt was on the Hill to testify about his agency's FY2019 budget proposal.

"Measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something that's very hard to do", Pruitt said on CNBC weeks after being sworn as EPA administrator.

Their resignations leave Pruitt increasingly isolated at the EPA, where he has lost the confidence of most of the agency's career staff and many conservative political appointees who feel that Pruitt's ethical lapses have done a disservice to the President's agenda.

Pruitt is the subject of about a dozen inquiries to his role as administrator and this week has seen a steady stream of Republicans criticizing him.

She becomes the second top Pruitt aide in two days to resign.

"I just think that with great change comes, you know, I think, opposition", he said.

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