Scott Pruitt did what now?

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt thinks Tulsa, Oklahoma, should have a chance to ...

Posted: Jun 8, 2018 5:33 AM
Updated: Jun 8, 2018 5:33 AM

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt thinks Tulsa, Oklahoma, should have a chance to Eat Mor Chikin.

That was part of his explanation -- seriously, watch it -- for the revelation this week that he asked an aide to help his wife, Marlyn, get a foothold in the (lucrative) Chick-fil-A fast food game.

According to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club, a staffer emailed the company's executive side to set up a conversation between Pruitt and Chick-fil-A chief Dan Cathy about "a potential business opportunity."

The "opportunity" presented by the Pruitt aide was, as it turned out, actually "an expression of interest in (Pruitt's) wife becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee," a company representative told The Washington Post.

In the end, the outreach didn't yield much. Pruitt's wife never completed her application. Pruitt gave that impenetrable response to a question about the story. Which means we can move on -- to another report, this one via Politico late Wednesday, that chews on Pruitt's appreciation for the menu options at the White House Mess, the Navy-run dining spot with top-notch food at bargain basement prices.

So frequent were his visits to the small hall, the story says, that he was politely asked, according to Politico, to pursue other dining options. Politico also surfaced a single month's tab, from July 2017, that came in at a little under $400 -- an impressively modest sum given its length.

Among the treats listed on the itemized bill for Pruitt and his guests: "Calypso Steak Salad," "Pineapple Glazed Salmon," and something called a "Ragin Cajun," which was ordered at two consecutive visits and three times that month.

Be it his dining tastes or business networking, the drumbeat of news about Pruitt suggests he's more interested in swimming laps in "the swamp" than draining it. There are, from him and his allies, reams of excuses, denials and deflections, but the sheer mass of reporting -- by the press, watchdogs groups, and internal investigators -- has managed to throw his position, from time to time, into some doubt.

Pruitt's appreciation for the finer things, so long as they come to him free or at a cut-rate, has become a running theme of his time in Washington. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, recently called Pruitt "about as swampy as you get." The stories have become so frequent and, frankly, absurd, that even Fox News felt compelled to grill him on at least one reported round of shenanigans. (Caveat here: the accusation discussed then involved his side-stepping a White House directive not offer pay raises to staff, so the story could, in a way, have been considered flattering to Trump.)

More recently, in just the past couple weeks, The New York Times reported on his attendance -- courtside -- at a University of Kentucky basketball game late last year, with his son, in seats belonging to a billionaire coal executive. It was also revealed, in emails requested by the Sierra Club, that Pruitt's office spent more than $3,000 in public money on customized fountain pens and journals from a Washington boutique called the "Tiny Jewel Box."

Other notably swampy allegations against/stories about Pruitt include, but are surely not limited to:

Precisely how many more sour notes Pruitt is allowed to play before Trump gets fed up hearing about them on cable news is anyone's guess. Two close aides to Pruitt resigned on Wednesday, suggesting that dissatisfaction with the state of things at the EPA is not the sole province of those seeking to "derail the president's agenda," as the administrator suggested on Capitol Hill in April.

One half of the departing duo, Millan Hupp, had a turn in the headlines a few days ago when congressional Democrats released testimony in which she discussed Pruitt's pursuit of a used Trump Hotel mattress -- one in a series of personal errands it's been alleged he charged or allowed Hupp to lead.

So what does Trump think of it all? He weighed in on Wednesday, offering this assessment:

"EPA is doing really, really well. And you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit," the President said of Pruitt. "EPA is doing so well. ... I think people are very happy with the job that's being done at the EPA."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5656118
DeSoto368031
Harrison253036
Madison244368
Rankin229235
Jackson228843
Jones191659
Forrest182056
Washington168942
Lee147941
Lauderdale141192
Neshoba128692
Lamar122614
Oktibbeha112739
Bolivar111834
Warren109533
Lowndes108538
Panola106214
Sunflower105425
Scott100320
Lafayette98317
Copiah95728
Leflore94765
Pike93836
Holmes90049
Grenada84921
Yazoo83312
Lincoln83241
Pontotoc8308
Simpson80330
Monroe80155
Leake79025
Wayne77421
Coahoma77213
Tate73629
Marshall7019
Marion68420
Union64316
Adams62925
Winston62316
Covington62113
George5895
Pearl River55439
Newton54311
Tallahatchie53011
Attala52325
Walthall50120
Chickasaw47019
Noxubee45912
Alcorn4345
Tishomingo4216
Calhoun4209
Prentiss41710
Claiborne40913
Smith40613
Clay39714
Hancock39514
Jasper3889
Itawamba37510
Tippah36713
Tunica3517
Clarke32626
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3228
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29411
Quitman2701
Carroll26111
Greene25512
Perry2437
Amite2356
Webster23512
Kemper23414
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21113
Stone2055
Sharkey1995
Jefferson1957
Benton1431
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena262
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
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