Fired EPA Staffer Reveals Fresh Pruitt Outrages

Fired EPA Staffer Reveals Fresh Pruitt Outrages

Reprinted with permission from

EPA chief Scott Pruitt gave his staff a set of simple instructions when he had an urge to travel: “Find me something to do.”

Needing at least some sort of justification, Pruitt told his staffers to go hunting for excuses so he could write his personal trips off as official, government-related excursions.

Pruitt’s trips included spending taxpayer dollars to repeatedly fly home to Oklahoma on the weekends, as well as visit other destinations, last year. Pruitt also regularly demanded that his flights be booked on Delta airlines — even when the federal government didn’t have a government carrier contract with Delta — because Pruitt wanted to bank as many frequent flyer miles as possible.

Those are among the revelations detailed in a new, six-page letter from Senate Democrats, who recently interviewed the EPA’s former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski, who was removed from his post after objecting to Pruitt’s runaway spending habits.

“Mr. Chmielewski also provided details about how Mr. Pruitt had assigned one of his aides, Millan Hupp, to ‘act as your personal real estate representative, spending weeks improperly using federal government resources and time to contact rental and seller’s agents, and touring numerous properties in which you might wish to reside,’” the New York Times reports.

The shocking disclosures add to the mountain of unethical behavior on Pruitt’s part. Last year he spent a staggering $3 million on travel, and today he’s reportedly protected by security force of 19 agents and a fleet of at least 19 vehicles, paid for by taxpayers, even though the EPA can’t explain why Pruitt needs unprecedented protection like that.

On Thursday, two Democratic senators also claimed that Pruitt has maintained “secret” email accounts while head of the EPA.

Still, after waging a public relations campaign last week, exclusively via the conservative media, Pruitt has been able to hang onto his job by portraying himself as a would-be martyr of the Trump era.

Pruitt’s fans think he’s the real victim and that he’s being targeted unfairly by liberal critics who will “use any means” to stop the Trump agenda.

Pruitt’s outlandish spending has been noted for many months, but the story exploded anew when he was caught “leasing” a luxury Washington, D.C., condo on a per-night basis from the wife of an energy lobbyist at far below market value, even while the EPA approved a pipeline extension for a company represented by that lobbyist’s firm.

Pruitt’s daughter also benefited from the sweetheart condo deal, which cost just $50 a night. But even with the discount, Pruitt didn’t pay the rent and the lobbyist landlord had to change the locks on him.

Meanwhile, the pressure on Pruitt continues to mount. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who’s retiring after this year, is pushing to get more documents about Pruitt’s sweetheart lease deal, as well as his costly plane travel.

It looks like Pruitt will even have to explain to Republicans what he meant by “Find me something to do.”


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

FBI Agents Probe Justice Barrett's 'Christian' Cult Over Sex Abuse Charges

Justice Amy Coney Barrett

When former President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020, her critics were disturbed by her association with People of Praise — a far-right Christian group that combines Catholicism with elements of evangelical fundamentalist Protestantism.

Keep reading...Show less
Remembering A Great American: Edwin Fancher, 1923-2023

Norman Mailer, seated, Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, founders of The Village Voice

If you are lucky in your life, you come to know one or two people who made you who you are other than your parents who gave you the extraordinary gift of life. Edwin Fancher, who it is my sad duty to inform you died last Wednesday in his apartment on Gramercy Park at the age of 100, is one such person in my life. He was one of the three founders of The Village Voice, the Greenwich Village weekly that became known as the nation’s first alternative newspaper. The Voice, and he, were so much more than that.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}