Just one week ago, we were pleasantly surprised by an episode of actual journalism. The Scott Pruitt interview conducted by Fox's Ed Henry, had some real challenging questions, with follow-ups, for a change. The most awful choice for any EPA director in history lied blatantly, with the usual flair of a Trump incompetent.
The palpable unrest he felt was obvious, but none more so than when he as asked to explain away a couple of raises he appeared to authorize, in spite of the White House's objection. And now we have evidence that he indeed lied, just like the liar-in-chief who appointed this climate-science denier to keep our air and water clean and safe.
Pruitt granted these insanely exorbitant raises to two of his Oklahoma cronies, Sarah Greenwalt and Millan Hupp; and he did so by manipulating a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act .
The provision, which allows the EPA’s administrator to appoint up to 30 staffers without White House or congressional approval, was intended to help the agency bring on experts and staff up especially-stressed offices. Greenwalt and Hupp’s raises went into effect on April 1, according to HR documents obtained by The Atlantic.
It apparently sent chills up the spines of some of Pruitt's underlings at the EPA, who couldn't believe how flagrantly and casually he lied. In order to protect themselves from the EPA Inspector General, they gathered their evidence, in light of all the tension he has aroused thanks to the revelations of Trumpesque corruption that surrounds Pruitt, as many fear his days are numbered.
After the interview, top aides, including Jackson, began corralling files that appeared to contradict Pruitt’s statements. The two administration officials described it as a way of “getting ahead” of the IG’s investigation. Greenwalt’s email, however, has proved the most troubling, according to both administration officials. “It’s an ‘oh, shit’ moment that they’re trying to figure out before the IG finds the email,” said one. “Because it’ll be damn near impossible to have Sarah explain her way out of it.”
An email that suggests Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt personally signed off on a controversial pay raise for a favored aide last month is roiling the agency.
In the last few days, top staffers became aware of an email exchange between one of two aides who received such a raise and the agency’s human resources division. In mid-March, Sarah Greenwalt, senior counsel to the administrator, wrote to HR in an attempt to confirm that her pay raise of $56,765 was being processed. Greenwalt “definitively stated that Pruitt approves and was supportive of her getting a raise,” according to an administration official who has seen the email chain.
A second administration official confirmed the exchange. The email “essentially says, ‘The administrator said that I should get this raise,’” the official told me. Both spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the private correspondence.
“Administrator Pruitt had zero knowledge of the amount of the raises, nor the process by which they transpired,” Pruitt’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, said in a statement. “These kind of personnel actions are handled by myself, EPA’s HR officials and PPO. These kind of personnel actions are handled by EPA’s HR officials, PPO and me. Any communications claiming otherwise are simply inaccurate.”
Trump seems hell bent on keeping this EPA saboteur-in-chief Pruitt, or maybe he might move him around in the Cabinet of Deplorables, After all, he's THE MAN installed by Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, an actual billionaire responsible for turning North Dakota into a fracking wasteland. In typical snatch and grab fashion, Hamm is cut from the same cloth as Trump and Pruitt. The fossil fuels magnate made a killing off killing the natural beauty of (North Dakota) and the rest of the country they hate so deeply. Hamm is a big-time Trump donor, and it was on his advisement that Pruitt head the department whose existence lies in the face of his anti-scientific, idiotic principles.
Scott Pruitt's major claim to fame before entering this Trump-Swamp is that he has sued the Environmental Protection Agency more than a dozen times. Isn't that ironic that a man with less than zero integrity not only will help expedite the demise of our environment, but he'll grift and grab all he can while doing it? Not at all. This is textbook GOP/DJT.