UPDATED: Bloomberg: Scott Pruitt Got Sweetheart Rent Deal From Lobbyist's Wife
Credit: Gage Skidmore
March 30, 2018


So Bloomberg reports the EPA's Scott Pruitt -- he of the very expensive tastes on the taxpayer dime -- stays at a Washington apartment owned by a lobbyist friend for $50 a night -- but only on the nights he stayed there. (If you've ever lived or visited D.C., you'll understand what a cut rate that is.)

Three White House officials expressed concern about the arrangement. They said Pruitt initially couldn't produce a lease or proof of actual payments, according to three officials. (The landlord provided EPA officials with the documentation.)

Cancelled checks show Pruitt paid different amounts on sporadic dates -- not on a regular rent schedule.

The condo is owned by the wife of J. Steven Hart, a lobbyist who represents an energy client, and we know how much Pruitt loves the energy industry.

Hart’s individual lobbying clients include liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc., the American Automotive Policy Council and Smithfield Foods Inc. But the Department of Energy -- not the EPA -- plays the major federal role overseeing LNG exports, and it is not clear Hart had direct contact with the EPA on behalf of any of his lobbying clients in 2017, according to a Bloomberg News review of disclosures.

Officials say this is just an AirBnB arrangement. After all, he's only renting one room and he's not allowed to put a lock on the door.

Might be legal, might not. But it's Scott Pruitt, and he hasn't exactly earned the benefit of the doubt.

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