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Internal email contradicts Pruitt's story on raises: report

Internal email contradicts Pruitt's story on raises: report
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An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffer who received a controversial raise reportedly emailed the agency’s human resources department to say Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOklahoma AG resigns following news of divorce, alleged affair Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues Scientific integrity, or more hot air? MORE approved of her pay increase, despite his claims he did not know about it.

The Atlantic reported on Monday that Sarah Greenwalt, senior counsel to Pruitt, “definitively stated” to human resources that “Pruitt approves and was supportive of her getting a raise.” 

The news outlet reported last week that Pruitt secured raises for Greenwalt and one other staffer after the White House rejected his request for the bumps in pay. Instead, Pruitt used an obscure provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act to increase the employees’ pay.

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The Washington Post later reported that Pruitt directed his staff to approve the raises.

However, Pruitt denied knowing about the pay raises last week during an interview with Fox News.

“I found this out yesterday and I corrected the action, and we are in the process of finding out how it took place and correcting that going forward,” Pruitt told Fox’s Ed Henry.

The latest claim that Pruitt knowingly authorized the raise comes as he faces a slew of other ethics controversies.

Most recently, it was revealed that he rented a room in a condo owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist during his first several months in D.C. The unit cost him $50 a day, he only paid for nights that he slept there and his daughter occasionally stayed in the condo as well.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has launched an investigation into the housing arrangement.

In addition, it was reported that Pruitt cost taxpayers millions of dollars with his security and travel costs.

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE defended Pruitt late Saturday, brushing aside the housing controversy and saying the EPA head is "doing a great job."

Earlier Monday, Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthTaiwan reports incursion by dozens of Chinese warplanes Concerns grow over China's Taiwan plans China conducts amphibious landing drill near Taiwan after senators' visit MORE (D-Ill.) alleged that if Pruitt told Fox’s Henry the truth, the EPA violated the law because only Pruitt has the authority to approve such pay raises.

She wrote to the Government Accountability Office seeking an investigation.

“If Administrator Pruitt did not make false and misleading statements in his television interview, then it appears the EPA violated the Antideficiency Act when finalizing the two appointments without the knowledge, involvement or approval of the EPA Administrator,” Duckworth wrote.

Timothy Cama contributed.