Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is the best example of the Trump administration’s flagrant, unbridled corruption—aside from Donald Trump himself.
The latest news in the Scott Pruitt-is-corrupt-as-hell storyline today is that Pruitt directed aides to book travel to the Rose Bowl. According to the New York Times, Pruitt was able to secure plum seats close to the 50-yard-line—with the help of a University of Oklahoma regent who just so happens to have ties to the oil industry. He also reportedly dispatched at least three EPA aides to help his daughter secure a White House internship last summer.
It boggles the mind to attempt to keep track of all the corruption that happens in the Trump administration every day. So, for your convenience, here is a comprehensive list of all the ways (that we know of) in which Pruitt has used his public office for personal gain since becoming EPA administrator over the course of the past 16 months—while managing to keep his job:
- Living for much of 2017 (and paying below-market rent) in a Capitol Hill townhouse owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist
- Falling behind on payments for his $50-a-night condo
- Insisting on taking private jets, military jets, or, in a pinch, first-class commercial flights, which he claimed is a security measure, despite the fact that he is the most generic looking white man in existence and only hardcore Sierra Club members could pick him out of a lineup. In one month alone, last June, Pruitt and his aides spent $90,000 of taxpayer money on flights.
- Toying with the idea of leasing a $100,000 per month private jet using taxpayer money
- Bypassing the White House to give “substantial raises” to aides who are loyal to him, while reshuffling EPA employees who dared criticize his actions
- Requesting $70,000 to replace two desks in his office, including an upgraded bulletproof desk at a security station outside of his office
- Requesting a bulletproof SUV “with so-called run flat tires, which keep a vehicle moving even when sustaining gunfire,” according to the Times
- Pulling 18 EPA agents out of the field to be Pruitt’s round-the-clock security detail, at a cost of roughly $2 million a year. (No previous EPA administrator has ever received such protection.)
- Installing a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office
- Directing his drivers to use lights and sirens for routine trips around Washington, “including at least one trip to Le Diplomate, a trendy French restaurant that he frequented.”
- Reassigning the lead agent in his security detail after the agent told Pruitt that sirens could only be used in emergencies
- Directing aides to come up with excuses for him and his lobbyist friends to travel to countries he wanted to visit under the guise of official business
- Allowing a former Comcast lobbyist to tag along to and help plan his six-figure, taxpayer-funded trip to Morocco
- Dining with an alleged child abuser while on a taxpayer-funded trip to Rome
- Signing off on $3,200 worth of stationery items, including 12 silver fountain pens, from a high-end Washington jeweler as “gifts to the Administrator’s foreign counterparts and dignitaries”
- Directing an aide to procure a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington
- Directing an aide to reach out in an effort to get his wife her own Chick-fil-A franchise
- When that failed, directing his aides to shake down Republican donors to find his wife a job
- Getting his daughter a White House internship
- Ordering his aides to run around town in search of fancy lotion from the Ritz Carlton
- Ordering aides to get him upscale snacks from Dean and Deluca and make pour-over coffee for him
- Ordering a top aide to search for housing for him “on personal time”
- Ordering aides to book his travel to the Rose Bowl, and securing tickets from a University of Oklahoma regent with ties to the oil industry
- Attending a University of Kentucky basketball game, and sitting in the personal seats of a billionaire coal executive Joseph Craft III. Craft and his wife donated more than $2 million to Trump’s presidential campaign, after which Trump named Craft’s wife ambassador to Canada.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something!
Corruption doesn’t always get rewarded by this administration; Tom Price resigned as Secretary of Health and Human Services after it was revealed that he was abusing his flying privileges.
Still, the president and Pruitt have apparently bonded over their sense of “mutual persecution” by the media for reporting how comically corrupt and bad they both are. As such, it seems likely that Scotty is here to stay.