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New details emerge when the EPO boss leases a freehold apartment associated with a lobbyist



Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, rented a room in a Capitol Hill apartment from the wife of a Washington lobbyist for $ 50 a day from mid-February to late July 2017, CBS News has confirmed. Pruitt's daughter also lived in the apartment while interning in the White House.

Pruitts Rent is equivalent to about $ 1,500 per month, but the terms of the deal were favorable. The deal only required Pruitt to pay the nightly rate if he stayed there, and he was not charged for nights if he slept elsewhere. Pruitt traveled regularly and often returned to Oklahoma on the weekends. Documents published by the Agency confirm that EPO Ethics Officers have signed the agreement. During the five-and-a-half months, Pruitt paid $ 61

00 in rent, about $ 2150 less than someone who paid his fare every night.

Pruitt's landlord was Vicki Hart, wife of Steven Hart, a lobbyist from Washington firm representing a number of fossil fuel companies.

At one point during the lease, Pruitt became ill and left work early. After his security detail failed to contact him for several hours, the security guard went into the apartment and tried to open the glass door, finally breaking his grip and shattering a pane of glass. It was later replaced by the condo association at a price of $ 2,460, billed to the EPA. ABC first reported that the security staff had to access the apartment out of concern for Pruitt.

Pruitt used the bedroom upstairs and had limited access to the kitchen and living areas below. From time to time, the main level has been used for Republican fundraising. As an administrative source told CBS News, using the apartment with its proximity to Capitol Hill was a cheaper alternative for fundraisers than renting a room in an expensive DC restaurant.

But Pruitt was not the only tenant. His daughter stayed in the apartment while interning in the White House. One official said Pruitt paid rent for nights his daughter was there even if he was not. The terms of the lease allowed Pruitts family members to stay in the apartment, according to the ethics document.

Pruitt intended to use the flat for a few weeks while settling in Washington. He stayed more than five months. In August, Pruitt moved into an apartment on the 14th and underground. He now lives in an apartment near Trader Joe's on Capitol Hill.

"As noted by EPA career ethics officials in a memo, Administrator Pruitt's housing arrangement for himself and the family was not a gift and the rent was in line with federal ethics regulations," EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told CBS News.

President Trump called Pruitt last weekend to tell him that he is "doing a great job," one person familiar with their conversation said, CBS News. The source said the president likes him because he has done a lot to roll back regulations, and believes the travel and housing stories will blow from it.

Pruitt was also examined for his journey. A working trip to Italy last year cost taxpayers $ 120,000. Pruitt told CBS News in February that his next flight would likely be a coach.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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