Pruitt ‘dumbfounded’ that renting condo linked to top lobbyist is controversial

Pruitt ‘dumbfounded’ that renting condo linked to top lobbyist is controversial
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittJudge rules against Trump attempt to delay Obama water rule Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler, please listen to your boss and approve year-round E15 Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain MORE said that he was “dumbfounded” that people found his decision to rent a condo co-owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist to be controversial.

“I’m dumbfounded that that’s controversial,” Pruitt told the Washington Examiner about the rental agreement.

Pruitt has faced criticism over the deal to rent the condo for $50 a night last year. The EPA said that the agreement met the agency's ethics guidelines.

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He is also facing scrutiny over a report that he used an obscure law to raise the pay of two close aides after the White House declined to do so and for frequently traveling in first-class seats using taxpayer dollars.

Pruitt hit back at the criticism during the interview with the Examiner, calling D.C. “toxic.”

“There are people that have long in this town done business a different way and this agency has been the poster child of it. And so do I think that because we are leading on this agenda that there are some who want to keep that from happening? Absolutely. And do I think that they will resort to anything to achieve that? Yes,” Pruitt said.

The Trump administration has stood by Pruitt even as some lawmakers, including Republicans, have called for him to resign over the scandal. Trump called Pruitt and told him to “keep your head up, keep fighting” and that “we have your back,” according to multiple media reports.