Scott Pruitt, President Trump's high flying administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the law by having a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office, purportedly so he could make and receive secure calls and discuss "sensitive" matters.
Pruitt, who loves to charge U.S. taxpayers for his personal travel as well as unnecessarily expensive government flights on Delta just so he can fatten his personal frequent flyer account, has tried to justify the soundproof booth on security grounds. Really? The EPA chief's job is that sensitive?
I'm wondering what sort of secure calls Pruitt feels he needs to make and what "sensitive" matters he needs to discuss. He doesn't look like a guy who would have a secret girlfriend, but then again you never know. Some of those politicians who have gotten in trouble for messing around with strippers and the like are not exactly Don Juans.
So what is it? Why does he need to make secret calls? After all, his job is to protect the environment, so what could be so touchy about that? You call up the polluter and tell him to stop it. Why would that require secrecy?
Oh yea, Pruitt actually hates the mission of the agency he heads and has handed down regulations to help polluters, which is why Trump appointed him in the first place. So maybe he feels like he needs to make secret calls to his other climate change deniers to dream up yet another attack on our air and water.
Anyway, he now has been called on the carpet by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which in a letter to Congress said the phone booth purchase and installation violated a law that limits such office enhancements to $5,000 and that Congress needed to be notified.
In that letter, the GAO also said EPA violated another statute because "it obligated appropriated funds in a manner specifically prohibited by law."
A double whammy, and even the Republicans are up in arms.
Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the Republican chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the EPA, said “EPA must give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law.”
When Trump was running for office, he promised to "drain the swamp" and get rid of government officials and employees who were abusing their positions or were implementing laws and imposing regulations with which he and his GOP cronies disagreed.
I say that instead, Trump has replaced good people with swamp rats like Pruitt who are abusing the taxpayers, including those who voted for him. This phone booth fiasco is just the latest example.