Someone Who Is Good At The Economy Please Help Scott Pruitt, He Is A Idiot
Do I hear banjo music?
Nothing says BE COOL, BRO, like hundreds of thousands of dollars of first-class travel for your whole posse -- although he was apparently safe in coach once he had to fly on his own dime -- and a 19-car security detail with sirens blazing. CNBC reports that no EPA Administrator has ever had round-the-clock security, even after the September 11 attacks.
But Pruitt's ambitious domestic and international travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000. The demands of providing 24-hour coverage even meant taking some investigators away from field work, such as when Pruitt traveled to California for a family vacation.
The EPA official said total security costs approached $3 million when pay is added to travel expenses.
EPA staff claim that Pruitt needs $2-3 million per year of security because of "death threats."
While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
Except, not really.
I had filed a #FOIA with EPA for any records of death threats made against Scott Pruitt.
EPA said it had zero recorss. https://t.co/XsCctrPYi7
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) April 8, 2018
Getting called an asshole in the airport is part of the job, Snowflake!
You can catch up on all the Scott Pruitt funtimes with the Griftpocalypse Chronicles, Parts 1, 2 and 3. We simply don't have enough pixels to include all this asshole's murders of ethics in one post. And even if we did, it wouldn't matter to Republicans because, as Sarah Sanders said on Friday, Trump "likes the work product.”
A handful of Republicans are tapping out on their pal Scott, including Trey Gowdy, who is mildly concerned about Republican corruption now that he's found a black friend and is noping out of Congress. But most Republicans seem to be taking their cue from the White House. Here's South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds 'splaining to Chuck Todd that ethics violations don't count if you're, like, really good at carrying out the president's agenda of raping and pillaging the environment.
WATCH: Sen. Mike Rounds says Scott Pruitt doing a good job at EPA, criticism is a 'nitpick' pic.twitter.com/xzpF6Tbw61
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) April 8, 2018
TODD: When does ethics matter, though? Because Tom Price did less and was fired.
ROUNDS: Look, the reason why all of the emphasis right now is on Mr. Pruitt is because he is executing these policies and they're not real popular policies with a lot of people. But he is executing the policies that this president said he would put in place.
Rounds went on to blame the media for the ethical shitstorm around Pruitt, of course. That train is never late!
And look which other Principled Men of God are #TeamEthicsSchmethics.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 5, 2018
This is compelling. Why do Obama and his media cronies want so badly to drive @EPAScottPruitt out of office? @realDonaldTrump is too cagey to be duped and bullied by the Obama groupies. https://t.co/USHqDUDECH
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 5, 2018
When all else fails, BLAME THE BLACK GUY! Who else could have been so crafty as to trick Trump into hounding out Walter Shaub at the Office of Government Ethics and replacing him with Acting Director David Apol? And now Apol has written a letter to Kevin Minoli, the chief ethics officer at the EPA, inviting him to take another look at Pruitt's living arrangements. Also his travel expenses. And the fact that he got those huge backdoor raises for his Oklahoma peeps. Plus the allegation that he used government employees to find an apartment for him. Don't forget the suspicious number of "official trips" home to Oklahoma paid for by taxpayers. Oh, and the firing and demoting of employees who questioned his spending!
Hey, Kevin! The Inspector General is already investigating Scott Pruitt's shitpile. But you're the guy who's supposed to be in charge of ethics at the EPA, and the Office of Government Ethics has questions.
So does yr Wonkette! Namely, HOW THE HELL IS THIS GRIFTING SUMBITCH PRUITT STILL EMPLOYED? We're betting he gets You're Fired by May, although it might not be terrible for the Blue Team if wannabe Dr. Evil stuck around through November. See, Pruitt talks a good game on Fox -- those pressers give Trump a happy feeling in his bathing suit area. But for a guy who sued the shit out of the EPA when he was Oklahoma AG, Pruitt loses in court A LOT. If Pruitt gets the axe, the Koch Brothers and Carl Icahn will probably install someone equally evil who is competent! And then we're even more fucked.
So maybe take a hint from Congressman Ted Lieu.
Dear @realDonaldTrump: Don't listen to #GOP Senators who question swamp monster @EPAScottPruitt. Dems are targeting 102 House seats. It would be really helpful if you could do more toxic rallies. Unleash yourself & go full #MAGA & bring Pruitt with you. Also bring Ted Nugent. Thx https://t.co/P1IWHU2Lkh
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 9, 2018
Food for thought!
BREAKING UPDATE: While we were editing this latest Griftpocalypse installment, The Atlantic reported that staffers inside the EPA were desperately trying to bury an email proving that Pruitt DID TOO sign off on those raises for his special friends, even though he told Fox's Ed Henry he just found out about it last week and was SHOCKED, SHOCKED.
In the last few days, top staffers became aware of an email exchange between one of two aides who received such a raise and the agency’s human resources division. In mid-March, Sarah Greenwalt, senior counsel to the administrator, wrote to HR in an attempt to confirm that her pay raise of $56,765 was being processed. Greenwalt “definitively stated that Pruitt approves and was supportive of her getting a raise,” according to an administration official who has seen the email chain.
And the cherry on top? They're in a panic to get those emails locked down before the Inspector General comes in and starts investigating.
After the interview, top aides, including Pruitt’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, began corralling files that appeared to contradict Pruitt’s statements. Both administration officials described it as a way of “getting ahead” of the IG’s investigation. Greenwalt’s email, however, has proved the most troubling, according to the two administration officials. “It’s an ‘oh, shit’ moment that they’re trying to figure out before the IG finds the email,” said one. “Because it’ll be damn near impossible to have Sarah explain her way out of it.”
DRAIN THE SWAMP, INDEED.
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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.