In one of the clearest examples of butt-kissing uber alles, Trump protege Scott Pruitt remains on the job despite a constant stream of ethics scandals, overspending and open corruption. Over the weekend, Trump dismissed millions spent on a personal army, more on first class flights and conscripted military planes,
The inability of either the Congress or the media to dislodge Pruitt, who is trailing a string of scandals that should be enough to sink entire administrations, is crushing. The whole idea that Trump is defending Pruitt rather than scrambling madly to back away from the openly corrupt EPA administrator may be the clearest signal of just how badly the national has stumbled in the last year.
And it’s not as if the news about Pruitt has stopped. As Salon is reporting, Pruitt’s corruption is both ongoing, deep and extraordinary.
In 2011, Pruitt and his wife, Margaret, bought a property in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just days before a court ruled that it had been fraudulently transferred by a Las Vegas developer who was on the hook for a $3.6 million loan default. Pruitt, who was then Oklahoma attorney general, apparently flipped the property for a $70,000 profit four months later, selling it to a dummy corporation set up by a major campaign contributor, Kevin Hern.
Here is Pruitt, using his position to acquire a property, then turning around and selling it—still at just over half its estimated value—to a campaign contributor, who slipped Pruitt $70K for the hand-off.
Scott Pruitt was only supposed to be living in the Capitol Hill condominium that has become a focal point of his latest ethics controversy for six weeks last year while he got settled in Washington – but the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator didn’t leave when his lease ended.
To get Pruitt out of his $50 a night luxury townhouse, the energy lobbyists serving as his hosts had to change the locks.
According to Politico, even fossil fuel lobbyists who had contributed to Pruitt’s campaign for years, found his level of greed disgusting.
The couple, Vicki and Steve Hart, became so frustrated by their lingering tenant that they eventually pushed him out and changed their locks. After trying to nudge Pruitt out of their home over the course of several months, the Harts finally told Pruitt in July that they had plans to rent his room to another tenant.
They should count themselves lucky that Pruitt didn’t just have his security goons break down the door. But of course, there is one person for whom Scott Pruitt isn’t too corrupt. Because his the idea of “too corrupt” isn’t a concept he can handle.
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
“Somewhat more” than his predecessor means millions more.
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.
Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that is more than three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent.
“Bold actions” means replacing all the scientists with lobbyists.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency, continuing a scientific shake-up that has already triggered resignations and charges from some researchers that the administration is politicizing the agency.
“Record clean air and water” means … nothing. Because Trump is pulling that air and water out of his MAGA hat while making both air and water worse.
The Trump administration said Thursday it is rewriting Obama-era rules governing pollution from oil and gas operations and coal ash dumps, moves that opponents say will significantly weaken protections for human health and the environment.
But of course that’s a lie. Everything in the tweet is a lie. Pruitt’s rent was a fraction of market rates. Travel expenses have been through the roof and Pruitt’s “great job” has meant him enjoying a luxury lifestyle while wrecking the environment at high speed.
But Pruitt only enjoys the lifestyle of the rich and famous when other people are picking up the tab.
Pruitt apparently did not consider that upgrade vital to his safety when taxpayers weren’t footing the bill for his ticket. An EPA official with direct knowledge of Pruitt’s security spending said the EPA chief flew coach on personal trips back to his home state of Oklahoma.