Trump can't stop praising Scott Pruitt even after he resigns in disgrace
Trump’s shamelessly corrupt EPA administrator Scott Pruitt finally resigns in disgrace — but Trump is still singing his praises anyway.
Scott Pruitt — arguably the most corrupt member of Trump’s comically corrupt Cabinet — has finally resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pruitt faced enormous pressure to resign in the face of dozens of scandals about his audacious abuse of power, but he still has one supporter who insists Pruitt did a bang-up job: Trump himself.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”
Pruitt is hardly the only scandal-plagued member of Trump’s Cabinet. HUD Secretary Ben Carson was caught using taxpayer dollars to buy some extremely fancy furniture, including a $31,000 dining room set, for his office — and then lied about it.
But Pruitt’s scandals made the rest pale in comparison.
Pruitt ordered staffers to invent reasons for him to write off his personal travel as government expenses. He spent millions of taxpayer dollars on 24/7 security he claimed to need because of “threats” to his safety. Those “threats” included a man criticizing his policies at an airport.
Another “threat” was someone drawing a mustache on Pruitt’s photo on the cover of Newsweek magazine and taping it to an elevator at EPA headquarters.
He demanded his office be outfitted with a $43,000 “secure phone booth,” which the Government Accountability Office said violated the office because Pruitt failed to notify Congress of his lavish spending.
Pruitt also got a sweetheart deal on an apartment he just happened to be renting from a lobbyist who sought favors from Pruitt’s EPA. Pruitt laughably insisted that the $50 a night he paid for the D.C. apartment was a fair market rate.
The depth of his corruption was so egregious that even Republicans blasted him for it. Christine Todd Whitman, who served as the head of the EPA under President George W. Bush, said in May that Pruitt should lose his job — and that was before even more scandals were revealed.
Pruitt’s spending was the subject of multiple investigations, which he dared to blame on his support for Trump instead of his own unethical and lawless behavior.
Through it all, as more and more people called for Pruitt’s resignation, Trump continued to insist that Pruitt was doing a fine job gutting environmental protections.
Now, even as Pruitt is leaving — almost certainly because there are yet more scandals to be revealed — Trump still has nothing but praise for his most corrupt Cabinet member. Clearly, if Trump had his way, Pruitt wouldn’t be going anywhere.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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