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Scott Pruitt did what now?

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt thinks Tulsa, Oklahoma, should have a chance to ...

Posted: Jun 8, 2018 6:33 AM
Updated: Jun 8, 2018 6:33 AM

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt thinks Tulsa, Oklahoma, should have a chance to Eat Mor Chikin.

That was part of his explanation -- seriously, watch it -- for the revelation this week that he asked an aide to help his wife, Marlyn, get a foothold in the (lucrative) Chick-fil-A fast food game.

According to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club, a staffer emailed the company's executive side to set up a conversation between Pruitt and Chick-fil-A chief Dan Cathy about "a potential business opportunity."

The "opportunity" presented by the Pruitt aide was, as it turned out, actually "an expression of interest in (Pruitt's) wife becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee," a company representative told The Washington Post.

In the end, the outreach didn't yield much. Pruitt's wife never completed her application. Pruitt gave that impenetrable response to a question about the story. Which means we can move on -- to another report, this one via Politico late Wednesday, that chews on Pruitt's appreciation for the menu options at the White House Mess, the Navy-run dining spot with top-notch food at bargain basement prices.

So frequent were his visits to the small hall, the story says, that he was politely asked, according to Politico, to pursue other dining options. Politico also surfaced a single month's tab, from July 2017, that came in at a little under $400 -- an impressively modest sum given its length.

Among the treats listed on the itemized bill for Pruitt and his guests: "Calypso Steak Salad," "Pineapple Glazed Salmon," and something called a "Ragin Cajun," which was ordered at two consecutive visits and three times that month.

Be it his dining tastes or business networking, the drumbeat of news about Pruitt suggests he's more interested in swimming laps in "the swamp" than draining it. There are, from him and his allies, reams of excuses, denials and deflections, but the sheer mass of reporting -- by the press, watchdogs groups, and internal investigators -- has managed to throw his position, from time to time, into some doubt.

Pruitt's appreciation for the finer things, so long as they come to him free or at a cut-rate, has become a running theme of his time in Washington. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, recently called Pruitt "about as swampy as you get." The stories have become so frequent and, frankly, absurd, that even Fox News felt compelled to grill him on at least one reported round of shenanigans. (Caveat here: the accusation discussed then involved his side-stepping a White House directive not offer pay raises to staff, so the story could, in a way, have been considered flattering to Trump.)

More recently, in just the past couple weeks, The New York Times reported on his attendance -- courtside -- at a University of Kentucky basketball game late last year, with his son, in seats belonging to a billionaire coal executive. It was also revealed, in emails requested by the Sierra Club, that Pruitt's office spent more than $3,000 in public money on customized fountain pens and journals from a Washington boutique called the "Tiny Jewel Box."

Other notably swampy allegations against/stories about Pruitt include, but are surely not limited to:

Precisely how many more sour notes Pruitt is allowed to play before Trump gets fed up hearing about them on cable news is anyone's guess. Two close aides to Pruitt resigned on Wednesday, suggesting that dissatisfaction with the state of things at the EPA is not the sole province of those seeking to "derail the president's agenda," as the administrator suggested on Capitol Hill in April.

One half of the departing duo, Millan Hupp, had a turn in the headlines a few days ago when congressional Democrats released testimony in which she discussed Pruitt's pursuit of a used Trump Hotel mattress -- one in a series of personal errands it's been alleged he charged or allowed Hupp to lead.

So what does Trump think of it all? He weighed in on Wednesday, offering this assessment:

"EPA is doing really, really well. And you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit," the President said of Pruitt. "EPA is doing so well. ... I think people are very happy with the job that's being done at the EPA."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
Fort Wayne
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Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 62°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
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Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 62°
Decatur
Clear
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Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 62°
Van Wert
Clear
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The heat and humidity builds into the region as we head into the weekend.
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