Despite mounting ethics questions, Trump backs environmental chief

Despite mounting ethics questions, Trump backs environmental chief

The Office of Government Ethics is raising concerns about Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Within the letter, Appearing Director of the Workplace of Authorities Ethics David Apol calls on the EPA's ethics workplace to evaluate and analyze studies about Pruitt's residing association in a Capitol Hill townhouse related to lobbyists, his journey and safety bills, and studies that he retaliated towards employees that raised objections to a few of his selections. "The American public needs to have confidence that ethics violations, as well as the appearance of ethics violations, are investigated and appropriately addressed".

The letter ended by mentioning the New York Times' recent report that Pruitt demoted or reassigned high-ranking EPA officials who questioned certain of his leadership and spending decisions - like his desire to use sirens and flashing lights to allow his motorcade to slice through Washington, D.C. traffic.

Agency ethics officials issued statements after the arrangement was reported that it did not violate gift rules because the arrangement was market value, but Apol points out in the letter that those statements were issued only after the arrangement became public and that additional information "calls into question" where those findings are still valid.

"It should not have been done", Pruitt said.

Also this weekend, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox released a report by the agency's assistant inspector general stating Pruitt and his family have faced "an unprecedented amount of death threats" and a list of several published reports about such incidents.

Likewise, the letter calls reports of Pruitt sidelining employees concerned over ethics "extremely concerning". Susan Collins of ME, who told CNN she thinks that "Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to lead the EPA".

US Sent National Guard to Mexican Border Amid Upsurge Crossings - Trump's Aide
Steve Bullock, both Democrats, also said this week that they would say no to requests for troops from their national guards . So far, the Texas National Guard planning teams are being deployed to five sectors along the Texas-Mexico border .

Putting Pruitt in this position is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house.

But Pruitt's ambitious domestic and worldwide travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000. In addition, Pruitt's aides often cite security to justify huge first-class airfare expenses. Pruitt exclusively paid for nights that he slept on the apartment and has referred to as it an "Airbnb" model association, however exterior ethics specialists have mentioned it may elevate additional questions if the homeowners held the room open for him even when he did not pay.

Inhofe was one of Pruitt's more vocal supporters prior to his confirmation.

In a June 9 email to the team, one special agent described the work that went into guarding Pruitt during a trip to Italy.

Three Republican senators criticized Pruitt on Sunday amid expanded ethics investigations of his spending and possible perks he's received.

A nationwide search of state and federal court records by the AP found no case where anyone has been arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt.

― The EPA launched a criminal probe in April 2017 into two female protesters who interrupted a speech by Pruitt. EPA's press office did not respond Friday to provide details of any specific threats or arrests.

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