- Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruit’s latest scandal revolves around the apparent use of an aide to run personal errands for him during work hours, often uncompensated.
- These errands included meeting with realtors to find Pruitt a new apartment, booking his personal travel, and even attempting to buy him a mattress for his bed from the Trump hotel in DC.
- Pruitt is currently the subject of 12 government investigations into allegations of excessive spending, abuse of government resources, and inappropriate connections to lobbyists.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly sent a senior aide to carry out several personal errands on his behalf over a period of several months, according to congressional transcripts.
Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s director of scheduling, testified in a closed-door meeting with congressional investigators that she spent months scouting a new apartment for Pruitt in a posh DC neighbourhood, scheduled his family vacation to California and trip to the Rose Bowl over the winter holidays, and even looked into buying him a used “Trump Home Luxury Plush Euro Pillow Top” mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
In 2012, President Donald Trump bragged about his line of luxury mattresses on Twitter. His partnership with Serta ended in 2015, but his mattresses are still sold by Trump hotels for upwards of $US1,400. It is unclear whether or not Trump hotels sell used mattresses.
My Trump Home Mattress Collection by Serta is setting records–they are really phenomenal. You can order them at http://t.co/oeCVxEGZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2012
Hupp’s testimony before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is just one piece of several separate investigations lead by an array of government agencies looking into Pruitt’s spending habits, conflicts of interest, and potentially inappropriate connections to lobbyists.
Pruitt has been scrutinised for insisting on flying first-class, spending $US3.5 million on security, allowing huge raises for staff, and other extravagant purchases on the taxpayer’s dime. Before Hupp found him an apartment, Pruitt had been paying a DC lobbyist whose clients were regulated by the EPA just $US50 a night to rent out a room in her luxury condo, another dealing the committee is investigating.
Pruitt’s use of an aide for these errands could land him in murky territory with federal law. Federal ethics standards strictly prohibit the use of staff for any non-governmental business, both during and outside work hours. Hupp testified that she performed many of these errands unpaid while using her official agency email.
At least 20 members of Congress, including three Republicans, have so far called for Pruitt’s resignation.
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