Corruption

Scott Pruitt’s Trip to Morocco Was Organized by a Lobbyist

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did release a record of administrator Scott Pruitt's trip to Morocco in December following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the majority of the trip was blacked out and redacted.

That would lead any reasonable person to speculate why or what Pruitt was trying to hide and now we have a few answers.

Pruitt has said the purpose of the trip was to promote "American interests," but that may only apply to one person; a lobbyist and longtime friend of Scott Pruitt. The Washington Post reports that Pruitt's entire trip was arranged by the lobbyist who landed a job as a foreign agent with the Moroccan government after the trip.

Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist who has known the EPA administrator for years, worked for months with Pruitt’s aides to hammer out logistics, according to four individuals familiar with those preparations. In April, Smotkin won a $40,000-a-month contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, with the Moroccan government to promote the kingdom’s cultural and economic interests. He recently registered as a foreign agent representing that government. [...]

Information obtained by The Washington Post shows the visit’s cost exceeded $100,000, more than twice what has been previously reported — including $16,217 for Pruitt’s Delta Air Lines fare and $494 for him to spend one night at a luxury hotel in Paris. He was accompanied by eight staffers and his round-the-clock security detail.

Pruitt denies that Smotkin played a significant role in the trip, but records reviewed by the Washington Post also show that Smotkin arranged other meetings for Pruitt almost immediately after he was appointed last year, including a meeting with former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, among others.

There's an unlikely scenario here in which Pruitt made the trip for legitimate reasons, and Pruitt claims the purpose of the trip was to negotiate a trade agreement concerning natural gas, but the Moroccan government didn't even know he was coming according to the Post. Attempts at contacting the Moroccan officials who supposedly met with Pruitt turned up nothing. When contacted, Justice Minister Mohamed Aujjar reportedly asked "Who?"

The Post's report says Smotkin also served as a liason for "social events" during Pruitt's trip, but it does not detail what those events were so we can only speculate.

I still think this story is going to end with some weird sex thing.

  • Badgerite

    Since when the the Environmental Protection Agency “promote trade agreements for natural gas” with foreign states?
    I don’t see how that is part of Pruitt’s ‘alleged’ duties as EPA Administrator. And why is he still there?

  • 1933john

    Could it be they’ve gone from
    urination to defecation events?

    • Well, we’ve always known they were full of sh*t

  • muselet

    Corrupt grifters gotta grift corruptly.

    (Ashby, with all due respect, it’s too early in the day for speculation about Scott Pruitt’s paraphilias. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to throw up everything I’ve ever eaten.)

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      Sorry, I sometimes forget that not everyone is dead inside like me.