EPA spokesperson calls reporter 'a piece of trash'

EPA spokesperson calls reporter 'a piece of trash'
© Greg Nash

A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) derided a reporter for The Atlantic as a "piece of trash" as he ended a phone call with her. 

Reached by phone, EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox declined to comment for a story about a top aide to Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules when appointing industry leaders to science boards MORE resigning.

"You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash," Wilcox told Atlantic reporter Elania Plott, she wrote in her story about the resignation of Pruitt's scheduler, Millan Hupp.


Wilcox did not immediately respond to an email from The Hill seeking comment on the reported remark. 

The Trump administration has had an often-fraught relationship with the press, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE frequently dismisses as the "fake news media."

Pruitt and some of his top aides have faced a barrage of negative press in recent months over controversies ranging from the administrator's use of first- and business-class travel to his below-market-rate rental of a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist during his first months in office.

Hupp reportedly tendered her resignation shortly after congressional Democrats released transcripts Monday from an interview in which she said Pruitt assigned her numerous personal tasks, including trying to buy a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel.

Pruitt appears to remain in good standing with Trump, despite the controversies and reported entreatments from White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and others to fire the EPA chief, The Atlantic reported. 

Trump praised Pruitt on Wednesday, saying he's been doing "doing really, really well."

"Somebody has to say that about you a little bit, you know that, Scott," Trump said.