Scott Pruitt is Smearing His Own Longtime Aides

Written by SK Ashby

Even if you've served Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt loyally for as long as a decade, you should not expect any loyalty in return from the petty diva.

Pruitt is apparently angry at his former aides, some of whom have been by his side from the beginning of his political career, because they refused to perjure themselves in front of Congress to protect him.

Pruitt believes his aides have wronged him by telling the truth and, to that end, he has reportedly made calls to the elite circles he wishes to become a part of to let them know that he didn't really want a used mattress from Trump's hotel.

According to three sources familiar with the conversations, Pruitt was livid over [Millan Hupp’s] testimony, which he felt had been particularly humiliating. And he personally reached out to allies in the conservative movement, including some at the influential legal group the Federalist Society, to insist that she had lied about, or at least misunderstood, the request for a used Trump mattress. He also stressed that Hupp could not be trusted—the implication being that she should not be hired at their institutions.

Contacting the Federalist Society to plead that you're not really a disgusting weirdo is one of the most pathetic things I've ever heard of.

But Pruitt didn't stop with his former director of scheduling Millan Hupp.

Sources who spoke to The Daily Beast say Pruitt not only waged a smear campaign against his former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski, he also enlisted agency personnel in his campaign.

Sources say Pruitt led the charge to push back against his former senior aide. And he did so by tasking communications aides with leaking damaging information about Chmielewski’s alleged misconduct at EPA, including supposed unannounced vacations and shoddy timecard practices. Chmielewski has accused Pruitt of retaliation, a charge that is now under investigation by the Office of Special Counsel.

Knowledgeable sources also told The Daily Beast that Pruitt instructed staff to pitch “oppo hits” to media outlets on other officials who departed on bad terms or were sidelined.

If, like many people, you want to know why Pruitt still has a job, the answer is simple: Republicans like what he's doing to environmental regulation. He's gutting it.

The only thing that still puzzles me is why Republicans believe they couldn't find someone else to gut regulations for them without Pruitt's obvious corruption and baggage. Much of what Pruitt has been accused of, like using his position to score football tickets and jobs for his wife, don't have anything to do with regulatory policy or the industries Republicans are generally close to. That's just him using the office for personal gain and ambition.