Dem asks EPA’s Pruitt if Morocco is a ‘s---hole’ country

Dem asks EPA’s Pruitt if Morocco is a ‘s---hole’ country
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Senate committee advances nomination of general accused of sexual assault Overnight Defense: General accused of sexual assault to get confirmation hearing | Senate to vote Monday on overriding Saudi arms deal veto | Next Joint Chiefs chair confirmed | Graham tries to ease Turkey tensions MORE (D-Ill.) asked the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday whether he believes Morocco is a “shithole” country.

The question came as Duckworth was scrutinizing EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEnvironmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules MORE’s recent official trip to the North African nation, in part to promote liquefied natural gas exports.

“Can I assume that like all decent Americans, you did not find Morocco, a North African nation, to be a shithole when you visited?” Duckworth asked Pruitt at an Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

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Duckworth was immediately cut off by committee Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoIf Democrats want gun control, they must first concede defeat Conway: Republican concerns about gun reform 'all reconcilable' Five proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings MORE (R-Wyo.) because her time for questioning Pruitt had expired.

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE reportedly described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador, in an immigration meeting with lawmakers earlier this month at the White House as “shithole countries."

The comment has angered Democrats, some Republicans and leaders of many of the nations Trump referred to.

Duckworth criticized Pruitt for taking the Morocco trip, saying it is not the responsibility of the EPA administrator to promote natural gas exports.

“While your home state of Oklahoma is the third-largest producer of natural gas in the country, I don’t understand what the sale of natural gas has to do with the EPA’s mission,” she said.

“Promotion of natural gas is the kind of thing that the secretary of Energy or perhaps someone running for governor of Oklahoma or some other elected office there, but not consistent with what the head of the EPA should be doing.”

Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, has long been rumored to be eyeing an elected office in the state, such as governor or senator.