Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt regained a key ally Tuesday after meeting with Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe one-on-one over recent scandals reported in the media, Bloomberg reported.
Inhofe, a Republican, had expressed doubts about Pruitt’s future at the EPA and suggested the administrator may need to resign last week. Pruitt has faced a wave of criticism and negative media reports that he abused his position by using agency staff to look for a job for his wife, accepted unauthorized gifts from lobbyists, spent taxpayer money on luxuries like flying first class and other scandals. (RELATED: Jim Inhofe Says Pruitt May Need To ‘Leave That Job’ At EPA)
Coming out of the meeting, Inhofe was convinced the allegations of unethical behavior were overblown and fueled by environmentalists, such as billionaire Tom Steyer, and EPA employees unhappy with the administrator’s agenda, as well as “unprecedented threats” leveled against Pruitt that have led to increased spending on security and precautions.
After meeting w/ @EPAScottPruitt, Sen. @JimInhofe says his doubts about the EPA administrator have been put to rest. A disgruntled employee, Tom Steyer & “unprecedented threats” against Pruitt are behind allegations, he says. ($) https://t.co/5lBttCEYAG via @AriNatter
— Jennifer A. Dlouhy (@jendlouhyhc) June 20, 2018
Inhofe’s renewed support comes days after The New York Times was forced to correct a story that alleged Pruitt used his position at the EPA to help his daughter into law school, which was later proven untrue. (RELATED: NY Times Admits It ‘Erroneously’ Reported Info About Scott Pruitt’s Daughter)
Pruitt has fielded criticism and calls for resignation from Republicans. Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham said Pruitt has “GOTTA GO” in a tweet on June 13. The conservative magazine National Review also published an article on June 13 titled “Scott Pruitt Should Go.” (RELATED: National Review: ‘Scott Pruitt Should Go’)
Other Conservative stalwarts, such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, have defended the EPA chief and President Donald Trump has maintained that Pruitt is “doing a great job within the walls of the EPA.”
“Outside, he’s being attacked very viciously by the press,” Trump told reporters on June 8. “And I’m not saying that he’s blameless, but we’ll see what happens.”
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