Ex-Obama ethics chief: ‘Pruitt just seems to be fundamentally unfit for public service’

Ex-Obama ethics chief: ‘Pruitt just seems to be fundamentally unfit for public service’
© Greg Nash

Former federal ethics chief Walter ShaubWalter Michael ShaubNews station criticized for publishing 'smear' about man killed in his apartment by off-duty officer Former ethics chief, a vocal Trump critic, joins watchdog group Dem congressional candidate defends ex-'Cosby Show' actor photographed bagging groceries MORE said Thursday that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE should resign, calling the EPA chief "fundamentally unfit" for public office.

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In an interview with CNN's "New Day," the former Office of Government Ethics (OGE) chief pointed to mounting scandals at the EPA as proof that Pruitt was repeatedly using EPA resources for personal gain.

"There seems to be no bottom to this ethics catastrophe with Scott Pruitt," Shaub said. "And nobody's doing anything about it."

Shaub went on to accuse Pruitt of "inventing" new ways to violate longstanding White House ethics rules after the EPA chief again came under fire for his conduct, this time over allegations that he directed aides and a top donor to focus on finding his wife a job in conservative political circles.

An EPA spokesman refused to comment Wednesday on the story and referred reporters to Pruitt's outside counsel, who did not respond to requests for a statement.

"In no other administration would this man still have his job," Shaub said. 

"I have never seen anything like this, with the sheer number of violations. Scott Pruitt just seems to be fundamentally unfit for public service," Shaub said.

Shaub, who served as the chief White House ethics officer under the Obama administration and briefly under Trump, has repeatedly attacked the Trump administration over ethical compliance since resigning from his post last summer.

Trump, meanwhile, has defended his EPA secretary over the increasing scandals, touting Pruitt's deregulatory efforts as recently as last week.

“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we're setting records,” Trump said Friday.