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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
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Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
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Carlton730
Nicollet683
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Itasca527
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Pennington70
Pope70
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Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
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Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
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Harrison190
Floyd181
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Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
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Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
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