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Pruitt evades guilt – POLITICO







The EPO chief told MEPs that his staff had made decisions about expensive security measures and turned his problems to criticism from President Donald Trump.

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The Environmental Protection Agency steward on Thursday dismissed responsibility for a $ 43,000 privacy cabin and more than $ 100,000 for first-class flights, and even said he had no idea if his chief adviser would even show up during a three-month employment relationship ,

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But the former Oklahoma Attorney General remained calm during the nearly six hours of interrogation. And his television appearances did not bring immediate complaints from the one person whose opinion counts – the media-obsessed president, who has remained with Pruitt despite a great deal of investigation and the despair of key White House staff.

"Let me be very clear: I have nothing to hide, as it has to do with how I have managed the agency for the past 16 months," Pruitt told a Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce, the first of two Panels that prompted him on Thursday for hours of questions.

But he did not offer enough detail to satisfy Democratic lawmakers – and a few Republicans – who criticized the lavish spending, friendly relations with lobbyists, and other controversies that had become apparent to him. He resolutely declined to apologize, instead accusing his critics of "derailing" President Donald Trump's policies.

Several Republican legislators who defended him during the hearings said he had asserted himself against a flood of democratic grievances.

"I think he did well," said MP Tom Cole (R-Okla), adding, "I know him well enough not to believe that he purposely did anything wrong or that he did Inadequate or immoral decisions have taken fashion. "

Yet, Cole admitted that a decision on Pruit's fate is in Trump's hands.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) Said that Pruitt had merely sought to evade responsibility for actions such as a massive expansion of his personal security team while evading allegations that he had punished employees who wondered if he was exposing serious threats to his safety is.

"He could have taken personal responsibility and really taken it seriously," McCollum told reporters after an afternoon hearing at the subcommittee on home remedies, where she told Pruitt to step down. "Instead, he messed up that he was entangled in the thought that he needed more security than he needed, and that when employees pushed him back, he was taking his revenge."

One aspect of the testimony on Thursday attracted a remarkable amount of attention – Pruitts changing explanations for what he knew, and when about 72 percent grew on some of his key aides.

A few weeks ago, Pruitt told Fox News that he did not know about the increases until then, that he did not know who authorized them, and that the helpers had not received them. But after questions had been asked by the legislature on Thursday, he admitted that he had authorized his chief of staff to grant salary increases to the adjutants – but he did not say how high they would be or that they would bypass the White House's disapproval.

"I was unaware of the height, nor was I aware that the circumvention or the [Presidential Personnel Office] trial was disrespected," Pruitt said in response to a question from Rep. Paul Tonko of New York, the top Democrat EPA spokesman said later that Pruitt had given his chief of staff Ryan Jackson a general license to regulate the cessation and use of EPA power under a water law that did not require the White House's sign

Legislators did not ask – and Pruitt Did not say – whether he would discipline Jackson for his salary increase treatment.

A preliminary report from the EPA Inspector General has revealed that Jackson has signed the pay allowance for migrations to Sarah Greenwalt, a Pruitt adviser who previously served as General Counsel at the Oklahoma Attorney General, and Millan Hupp, a former "Team Pruitt Operations Director, "who is now its director of planning and progress.

Pruitt also said he did not know if one of his best colleagues, Samantha Dravis, had not gone to work for much or all of the period from November to January, as Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) Claimed. His response was essentially an earlier statement by an EPA spokesman who called the accusations "baseless and absurd".

"I'm not aware that she appeared to work or not, so that's something that's being reviewed at this point," Pruitt told the legislature on Thursday, pointing to a general decision by the inspector to report her presence to check.

Dravis, the EPO's EPO EPO Deputy Administrator until last week, was such a high profile adviser that she did not travel to Morocco's official stores until December with Pruitt. She also appears with him in a meeting photo that Prittt's EPA Twitter account tweeted on December 6.

Pruitt also blamed his employees for the controversial purchase and installation of the private cabin in his office, saying that he should have stopped if he knew the cost. He said the installation would be completed after receiving a "sensitive" call and requesting "secure communications".

"I gave instructions to my co-workers to address this and resulted in expenses of $ 43,000 I did not approve of that," he said. "If I had known, I would have refused."

Pruitt did not discard the staff he blamed for installing the phone booth, but staff at the agency told POLITICO that these and other expensive expenses are being monitored by Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, the career worker who provided his security detail cites.


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