Pruitt ally: It may be time for EPA chief to re­sign

Baltimore Sun - - NATION OBITUARIES - By Evan Halper

WASH­ING­TON —Even Scott Pruitt’s most loyal friends are start­ing to give up the fight.

The per­pet­ual ethics prob­lems of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency chief have moved some con­ser­va­tives who were firmly in his camp to re­con­sider. On Wed­nes­day, his long­time men­tor and fel­low Oklahoma Repub­li­can, Sen. James In­hofe, sug­gested it may be time for Pruitt go.

In an in­ter­view with con­ser­va­tive talk ra­dio host Laura In­gra­ham, who ex­pressed ex­as­per­a­tion with Pruitt’s inces­sant ethics scan­dals — which range from build­ing him­self a $43,000 pri­vate tele­phone booth to us­ing his po­si­tion to try to land his wife a job with Chick-fil-A — In­hofe said it all needs to stop.

“Every day, some­thing new comes up,” he said. “I have taken the po­si­tion that if that doesn’t stop, I am go­ing to … be in a po­si­tion where I am go­ing to be forced to say ‘Scott you are not do­ing your job.’ … I am send­ing over a com­mu­ni­ca­tion to­day that says we have had enough of these things.”

In­gra­ham said Pruitt is hurt­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump “be­cause he has, I am sorry, bad judg­ment af­ter bad judg­ment af­ter bad judg­ment. It just doesn’t look good. If you want to drain the swamp, you’ve got to have peo­ple in it who­forgo per­sonal ben­e­fits and don’t send your aides around do­ing er­rands Sen. James In­hofe, R-Okla., said in Wed­nes­day that “some­thing new comes up” every day with Scott Pruitt. on the tax­payer dime. Other­wise you make ev­ery­body else look bad.”

“It hurts me to say this,” In­hofe said, “but I agree 100 per­cent with you. I have seen these things. They up­set me as much as they up­set you, and I think some­thing needs to hap­pen to change that. One of those al­ter­na­tives would be for him to leave that job.”

In­hofe pointed out that even if Pruitt were to de­part, his legacy of rolling back en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions, cli­mate change denial and boost­ing the coal in­dus­try would en­dure, as he would be re­placed by his deputy, An­drew Wheeler, a for­mer coal lob­by­ist.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

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