MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says the string of scandals involving Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is frustrating, yet is staying away from calling for his removal from office.
Pruitt’s tenure as agency head has been bogged down by reports of poor bevahior; the Washington Post reported Thursday his security detail ran errands on his behalf, including picking up his dry cleaning and searching for a lotion offered at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
It was reported this week Pruitt sought a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, in which his scheduler contacted the company’s chief executive Dan Cathy about the opportunity. There is also the story in which Pruitt asked his director of scheduling and advance to contact the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. about purchasing a used mattress.
It was reported in March that Pruitt leased an apartment owned by a lobbyist for $50 a night, but only on the nights in which he was in the apartment.
The director of scheduling and advance, Millan Hupp, and Pruitt’s senior counsel, Sarah Greenwalt, have submitted notices about leaving the EPA.
During an appearance on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Capito said the accumulation of these scandals is frustrating.
“I think it has an erosive effect to the administrator,” she said. “I can tell you for a fact riding in the car with President (Donald) Trump when he was in White Sulphur Springs, I mean, this is not something that the administration savors, is this tick, tick, tick of bad judgment and not the most integrity-filled behavior.”
Trump took part in a roundtable in April regarding the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Capito attended.
Capito did not say Pruitt should be removed from office, noting that decision is up to Trump.
“I think the president is going to make the decision whether he continues to serve or not,” she said.
Capito said she has been pleased with Pruitt’s work regarding deregulation, but mentioned she is aggravated by the lack of information about the long-term effects of C-8 in water supplies. The chemical, used in materials resistant to water, was present in the water systems of Parkersburg and Martinsburg in 2016.
“Supposedly, it was being sat on by the EPA because it might not come out quite how they want. Well, I don’t care if it doesn’t come out quite how they want,” she said. “I want to know what the effects are for our families.”
Pruitt told Capito at a May 16 hearing that he was unaware the agency was holding a related report.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 7, 2018