SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Burnett to Tony Perkins: You're cherry-picking

Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, tells CNN's Erin Burnett that Scott Pruitt is only trying to protect himself.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 12:07 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 12:10 PM

Evangelical leader Tony Perkins defended Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday against a growing list of ethics controversies, saying he does not believe "there's anything there."

"The President has been very clear that these things are problematic as you look at them on their face," Perkins told CNN's Erin Burnett.

Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, argued that the controversies and allegations should be put in context. He cited security concerns to defend Pruitt in one of the controversies.

"I've spoken to a number of these Cabinet secretaries who are being threatened and harassed when they get on planes and they're flying in coach," he said. "He's getting eight times the number of threats his predecessor got."

Pruitt defended his first-class travel in February by saying it was for security purposes, citing the "toxic environment" in politics and implying he was less likely to face threats in a first-class crowd.

"This is how vicious things have become in the polarized political environment," Perkins added. "So I think you have to look at that all in the context of personal security."

Perkins, a supporter of President Donald Trump's socially conservative policies, said in January that the evangelical community has given the President a "mulligan" when it comes to his personal behavior.

Citing Perkins' evangelical background, Burnett asked about concerns that Americans may have with Pruitt's list of ethics scandals.

"Do you, though, understand the concerns some might have?" Burnett asked. "They say you're speaking for evangelicals. As a man of faith, a man who defends morals and character. And we are seeing someone who appears to be compromised on that front, but ... it doesn't seem to bother you. Why?"

Perkins said he did not see a problem with the EPA chief trying to protect himself.

"What about the condo?" Burnett countered.

"I don't know all the facts in the condo," Perkins said.

In late March, ABC News reported that Pruitt stayed in a condo co-owned by Vicki Hart, a lobbyist whose husband, J. Steven Hart, works for a firm that has lobbied on energy issues. A Bloomberg report said the deal on the condo gave Pruitt a price of $50 a night for a bedroom, and only on nights when he slept there.

Perkins continued to argue that he couldn't comment on condo controversy because he didn't know the details.

Burnett told Perkins, "It feels like you're cherry-picking."

Perkins denied he was being selective with Pruitt's controversies, but went on to highlight the EPA chief's success at accomplishing the Trump administration's agenda.

"The President likes him," he said. "It's been good for business. The left is upset with him. They're going to find anything they can. And if there's anything there, I believe it will come out."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 20°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 17°
Huntington
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Lima
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Wintry Mix & Snow
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events