Scott Pruitt is the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and he is in quite a firestorm now that it has come to light that “he signed off on controversial five-figure raises for political appointees.” As Yahoo News has confirmed, this contradicts his prior claims that he made while appearing on Fox News and the controversy has been reignited. Since Pruitt is trying to clean up the EPA, he has become a target for media lies.
While he spoke at two House meetings, he openly admitted that he “gave chief of staff Ryan Jackson the green light to use a special loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act” to up the pay of Millan Hupp and Sarah Greenwalt. These are aides from Oklahoma who have worked with Pruitt for a very long time.
The House had rejected the request when made through proper channels.
“There were delegations giving him that authority,” Pruit said, as Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) asked questions about the matter. “I was not aware of the amount, nor was I aware of the bypassing or the [White House Office of Presidential Personnel] process not being respected.”
He claimed that when the error was noted, he “he canceled the raises and resubmitted the requests” again to the White House.
The meeting took place for over four hours in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce saw Pruitt blamed the media for skewing the mistake to look as if wrongdoing was done.
“I recognize there have been some very troubling media reports over the past few weeks,” he said. “A lie does not become truth just because it appears on the front page of the newspaper.”
As for his job performance, he was asked if he had “anything to say to the families of people who died inhaling the toxic paint stripper methylene chloride,” and he replied only that no ban was yet in place.
He was also asked about the rumor that a member of his security staff was “moonlighting” for a tabloid and working to hide facts about Donald Trump’s affair with a pornstar. He answered that he “was not aware of that outside contract, and it’s being reviewed.”
Here, much of the same thing that happened to Mr. Trump as Special Council Robert Mueller went from the president’s supposed Russia connections to practically everything he had ever done (with no legal merit to do so), Pruitt is now being attacked for things far removed from the payment error.
This was noticed by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) who said, “I apologize for the abrasiveness of some of my colleagues who would rather tarnish your reputation than address the problems facing the nation.”
Representative David McKinley (R-WV) noted with sarcasm the “classic display of innuendo and McCarthyism,” as well.
He added, “I hope that we can stay on policy and talk about some of the progress that’s been made because I think that it’s been good for the environment.”
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) stated that Pruitt is but “a victim of … Washington politics.” He observed, instead, Pruitt’s correct stance against “radical clean air policies” that stifle growth and hurt the overall economy were the real reason behind the inquiry.
Concerning the error that he made in giving the pay raises, Pruitt admitted, “I am not afraid to admit there’s been a learning process.” This admission may not appease those who smell blood in the water with a conservative but it seems to be the truth according to the facts at hand.
Then again, when have facts ever mattered in politics?