Apr 3, 2018 4:15 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks, 14 hours, 58 minutes, 26 seconds ago
Trump Backs Reg-Slashing Scott Pruitt as Angry Liberals Circle
The president and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly offered the EPA administrator their support amid controversies surrounding his travel expenses
April 3, 2018
by Kathryn Blackhurst | 03 Apr 2018 at 4:15 PM
President Donald Trump maintains his confidence in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has killed hundreds of excessive bureaucratic regulations, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Pruitt incurred ire in the liberal mainstream media most recently over reports of high travel and security expenses funded with taxpayer dollars, the $50-per-night he spent staying in a lobbyist’s wife’s condo for a few months in 2017 and the news that he procured raises for two of his staffers against White House protocol.
Although Pruitt’s two predecessors under former President Barack Obama also accrued high travel expenses during their EPA tenures, the media devoted virtually no coverage to the issue.
Trump called Pruitt Monday night to tell him to “keep your head up, keep fighting” and “we have your back,” an unnamed White House official confirmed to news outlets. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also called Pruitt on Tuesday to back up Trump’s message to the EPA administrator.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, said Tuesday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” that he had met with Trump recently and believes Pruitt is in the president’s good graces.
"From what I’m told, both General Kelly and President Trump have assured Scott Pruitt that he is staying on for right now, and that will continue," Lewandowski said. "I believe that General Kelly has been waiting for an investigative — an IG report to come out of the EPA. And so until that happens, I believe Administrator Pruitt is safe in his position."
Kelly reportedly is awaiting the findings of an EPA Inspector General (IG) report on Pruitt's conduct before making a decision on Pruitt's future, Politico reported Monday.
Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.) wrote to the IG, urging the office to launch an additional probe into the condo controversy.
The tax-paid expenses Pruitt has compiled include $68,000 in air travel — some of it in first-class seats — hotel stays and other expenses from August 2017 through February 2018, according to documents requested by House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and obtained by The Washington Post. Pruitt’s trip to Italy to attend the G-7 Summit and tour the Vatican in June cost $120,000.
But the same outlets that frowned upon Pruitt's expenses showed a marked lack of interest in comparing Pruitt’s travel expenses with his two EPA predecessors, Gina McCarthy and Lisa Jackson.
McCarthy’s international travels between 2013 and 2016 cost taxpayers $629,743 — while Jackson’s international travel costs between 2009 and 2012 totaled $332,113. By comparison, Pruitt’s 2017 international travels cost $160,000.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the Washington Free ...
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