In the latest example of how Trump administration officials have used their positions to enrich themselves, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly spent a month last summer traveling to and from his home in Oklahoma.
According to The Washington Post, Pruitt didn’t maintain a D.C. residence after moving out of his $50-per-day condo rental last summer. Instead, he traveled “extensively” and spent much of his time in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
More from the report:
Pruitt’s decision not to maintain a fixed address in the city where he was leading a major federal agency underscores how he has operated during his tenure — crisscrossing the country and parts of the world to tout the president’s agenda but regularly returning to Oklahoma, often at taxpayer expense.
In recent weeks, Pruitt has been dogged by revelations that he took dozens of first-class flights during his government travels, which EPA officials have argued was necessary due to security concerns, as well as by the disclosure of a housing agreement he struck during his early months in Washington with the wife of a lobbyist he knew from Oklahoma. Under that arrangement, Pruitt paid for a room in the condo a block from the Capitol but only paid for the nights he stayed. Both his living and travel arrangements have drawn inquiries from lawmakers and government investigators.
This report comes after it was revealed that Pruitt gave two pay raises worth a combined total of $80,000 to a pair of his closest aides.
As Jason Easley wrote earlier, even Fox News is grilling Pruitt for using the agency to benefit himself and his friends.
According to CNN, Pruitt is now saying that the raises “should not have happened,” but that’s likely only because he got caught.
This is business as usual for the Trump administration
Scott Pruitt’s reckless use of taxpayer dollars might be stunning if it weren’t so common for those working in this administration – including the president.
More than a handful of Trump officials – from ex-HHS Secretary Tom Price to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to HUD Secretary Ben Carson – have used their powerful roles to enrich themselves or their families.
This administration is filled with people who believe the United States government is their playtoy – a personal piggy bank to fund their lavish lifestyles. This mentality comes directly from Trump himself, who is literally profiting from the presidency.
Donald Trump went to Washington promising to drain the swamp. After more than 14 months in the White House, it’s never been so full.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.