Friday, April 27, 2018

Pruitt dodges blame

Scott Pruitt may have handled his daylong congressional grilling well enough to salvage his job for now — but only after he blamed his torrent of scandals on staff, disavowed one of his top advisers and raised new questions about what he knew about massive raises awarded to some of his closest aides. The Environmental Protection Agency administrator shrugged off responsibility Thursday for a $43,000 privacy booth and more than $100,000 in first-class flights, and even said he has no idea whether his chief policy adviser showed up for work at all during a three-month stretch. But the former Oklahoma attorney general stayed calm throughout the nearly six hours of questioning. And his televised performance brought no immediate complaints from the one person whose opinion matters — the media-obsessed president who has so far stuck with Pruitt despite a multitude of investigations and the exasperation of key White House staff. “Let me be very clear: I have nothing to hide as its relates to how I’ve run the agency for the past 16 months,” Pruitt told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, the first of two panels to subject him to hours of questioning Thursday. But he also didn’t offer enough specifics to satisfy Democratic lawmakers — and a few Republicans — who criticized the lavish spending, cozy relations with lobbyists and other controversies that have taken root on his watch. He pointedly refused to apologize, instead accusing his critics of trying to “derail” President Donald Trump’s policies...MORE

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