GRIFTPOCALYPSE! Or, 'Scott Pruitt May Be In Wee Spot Of Bother'
IS THAT AN EXPLODING FIREBALL? Nope, it's EPA administrator Scott Pruitt! By the time you read this, old Scotty will probably be bagging groceries at a Save-A-Lot in Tulsa. Has there ever been a political flameout this spectacular in American politics? Check out Parts 1 and 2 of the Pruitt Griftpocalypse Chronicles, and let's strap in for the Grand Finale! (God willing!)
But first, the sexy stuff!
Remember Hope Hicks's wife-punching boyfriend Rob Porter who got fired from the White House last month? Well! Turns out, he was still in a relationship with this lovely lady who works at the EPA when he started bumpin' bits with Hope. Oooopsie!
Samantha Dravis is Pruitt's BFF in DC, having worked for him in two other jobs before joining the EPA as the agency's head of policy. And when she found out she was getting two-timed with Little Miss Perfect, Dravis threw everything he owned in a box to the left and called up Don McGahn to let him know about Porter allegedly beating his two ex-wives.
Bet you see where this is going! Take it away, InsideEPA.
Rob Porter, a top former aide to President Donald Trump who was fired earlier this year over domestic abuse allegations, is reportedly a source of information about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's ethical transgressions that are threatening his future at the agency, after Porter's relationship with a top former Pruitt aide soured, sources say. [...]
One source calls the leaks “tit for tat” and the result of a love affair gone bad.
Now, to be fair, Pruitt has managed to piss off A LOT of people. Porter can't be the source for all the stories. But the particulars of Pruitt's living arrangements, well, that definitely came from someone with the inside track on his personal life. We are just saying.
We're all going to need a trip to the Regal Beagle when this is over!
About those interesting living arrangements ...
By now, we all know about Pruitt's $50/night deal to rent a room from energy lobbyist Steven Hart when he wasn't traveling the world first class and sleeping in luxury hotels on the taxpayer dime. Pruitt has defended the arrangement, claiming that his landlord's firm Williams & Jensen had no business before the EPA. The Daily Beast breaks down all the ways that story is total bullshit.
But would you be FOR SHOCKED to hear that Pruitt often fell behind on his meager rent? And that DC municipal authorities have cited the landlord lobbyists for failing to register a rental property? Gosh, we feel so very sorry for them. LOLOLOL!
And Scott said, 'Ben Carson, hold my beer!'
Scott Pruitt has a taste for the finer things. Like a $100,000/month membership to NetJets, so he'd have a charter plane at his disposal. And a couple of desks worth $70,000. And a bulletproof SUV with run-flat tires. And a $43,000 cone of silence to stop electronic eavesdropping on his phone calls. And a 20-person security detail.
No prior EPA chief has had those things, but Scotty just NEEDS them. He needs them enough that he seems to have gotten a whole lot of people fired or demoted because they stopped him from getting them. For instance, the head of Pruitt's security detail Eric Weese was replaced after refusing to certify that his boss had to fly first class for his own safety. Weese's successor, Pasquale "Nino" Perotta, said that sitting near the front of the plane was absolutely necessary for "security protocols." Perotta was also happy to put a siren on top of Pruitt's motorcade so he could get to important meetings or fancy restaurants on time. FOR SAFETY REASONS, of course.
But Pruitt wasn't content to ruin the careers of "Obama holdovers." This guy went after political appointees with strong connections to Trump and White House staff. Trump's senior advance official during the campaign, Kevin Chmielewski, wound up a high-ranking aide at the EPA. But Chmielewski got crosswise with Pruitt after nixing the charter jet and office furniture spending, and he found himself on unpaid administrative leave after Pruitt accused him of not answering the phone during an official trip to Hawaii with Mike Pence. After Chmielewski voiced concerns about Pruitt's spending to the presidential personnel office, someone filed an anonymous complaint with the EPA's inspector general alleging that Chmielewski couldn't get security clearance due to "indiscretions." The complaint was investigated and dismissed as false.
Now, we are not a politician. But we think picking a fight with the president's guys is probably a bad career move. And pissing off everyone you work with while simultaneously violating all the ethics rules is a good way to find yourself with a hundred leakers feeding different stories about you to every newspaper in the country.
The Griftapalooza World Tour!
Samantha Dravis and Scott Pruitt were close. The Daily Mail (ugh, we know) reports,
"That's his best friend there with whom he had dinner with several times every week. If he had a bad idea he'd go to her with it, because she'd just do it instead of raising concerns," the source told the paper.
That's probably why she was allowed to skate by with so many personal days. Like from November 2017 straight through January 2018, if reports to Senator Carper are correct. Although she did show up for "work" on December 9 because that was field trip day! Pruitt bundled several staffers, including Dravis, Sarah Greenwalt and Millan Hupp (his two pals from Oklahoma who got those ginormous raises), Nino Perotta, and a security detail onto a plane for Morocco by way of Paris. Did everyone stay in a $16,146 first-class seat like Pruitt? Elijah Cummings has questions!
After two days in Paris, the team decamped for Morocco where they lobbied the government to import American liquified natural gas. Which seems kind of an odd remit for the director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Except, who exports American natural gas? That would be Cheniere Energy. Can you guess which lobbying group represents Cheniere?
Why it's Williams & Jensen, whose CEO is Pruitt's lobbyist landlord Steven Hart! OF FUCKING COURSE.
If you didn't follow that, you can let Rachel Maddow 'splain it to you.
Is this an EPA trip or did they make a new sequel to The Hangover? pic.twitter.com/DfGrF7xmw4
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) April 6, 2018
Okay, we are done typing about this grifty son of a bitch now. Dude needs to GTFO! Deejay, play some music to accompany Mr. Fireball on his walk of shame.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.