Rantt Rundown: Scott Pruitt Must Resign

Day 503 of the Trump presidency

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is the personification of the swamp Donald Trump falsely claimed he was headed to Washington to drain. Every week, multiple reports reveal new examples of the stunning corruption of Scott Pruitt. As the White House continues to stand by Pruitt, pressure mounts for him to resign. And resign, he should.

As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt repeatedly sued the EPA in an attempt to block environmental regulations. He has run the EPA as you’d expect someone with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry would. Not only has Pruitt been very effective in his rollback of meaningful environmental regulations, he’s been very effective in his ability to create such a mountain of ethical scandals it’s seemingly impossible to keep up with them.

Here are a few:

  • Renting a $50 a night luxury condo linked to fossil fuel industry lobbying firm Williams & Jensen, who won approval for a project while Pruitt was staying there.
  • A six-figure trip to Morroco which involved Pruitt reportedly promoting issues that benefit his past donors and Williams & Jensen.
  • Unauthorized raises for his favorite staffers.
  • Ordering an EPA aide to make calls to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise.

  • More wastes of taxpayer money.

There are many more but we won’t get into the details here.

Pruitt has been grilled on Capitol Hill by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Appropriations Committee about these issues and faces at least a dozen federal inquiries.

Just today, it was reported two of his top aides have resigned. It’s clear what Pruitt’s next move should be.

Meanwhile…

  • Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said there is “no evidence” to support President Trump’s lie that there was improper spying on his campaign. When asked about whether President Trump should pardon himself, Ryan said he shouldn’t and: “No one is above the law.”
  • Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) is mounting yet another lawsuit. NBC News reported:

Stormy Daniels says in a new lawsuit that her former attorney betrayed her and became a “puppet” for President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer while still representing her.

The filing Wednesday alleges that Trump attorney Michael Cohen “hatched a plan” and “colluded” with the adult film actress’ lawyer, Keith Davidson, in an attempt to get her to go on Fox News in January and falsely deny she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago.

  • News of Ivanka Trump’s involvement in the pursuit of the Trump Tower Moscow deal during the campaign broke.

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is requesting that witnesses turn over their personal devices. CNBC reported:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs and potentially view conversations between associates linked to President Donald Trump, sources told CNBC.

Since as early as April, Mueller’s team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request and have given over their phones, the sources said.

Sean Hannity (Fox News anchor, Trump ally, and previous client of Michael Cohen) responded.

  • As Mexico hit the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs, news of a contentious call between President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke.

  • The Justice Department’s IG report claims inappropriate behavior on the part of Former FBI Director James Comey.

  • President Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson and is considering dozens more. CNN reported:

The White House has assembled the paperwork to pardon dozens of people, two sources with knowledge of the developments tell CNN, signaling that President Donald Trump is poised to exert his constitutional power and intervene, in some instances, where he believes the Justice Department has overstepped.

The administration has prepared the pardoning paperwork for at least 30 people, the sources tell CNN. The President signed paperwork for one of those individuals on Wednesday: 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence was commuted by the President, according to two sources. Johnson was sentenced in 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering.

Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday.

The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.

  • The primary elections on Tuesday signaled the blue wave is very, very real.

Rundown // Climate Change / Corruption / Donald Trump / Epa / Scott Pruitt