WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has dealt with his share of controversies in his time at the agency.
The criticisms have centered on issues such as pay raises for his subordinates and alleged misuse of taxpayer funds to pay for travel and security.
Here is what Administrator Pruitt had to say:
Pruitt: Well, look, I care so much about taxpayer money. It’s what I’ve done historically when I served at the state level. It’s important that serving this capacity that everyone is a good steward of taxpayer money, but these distractions, these issues that we’ve dealt with largely it emanated from the great work that we’ve been doing. In the first year of the Trump administration, $1 billion in savings in respect to regulatory cost savings and at the same time environmental outcomes are improving. So, there’s a lot of change taking place at the agency and how we do our work, for the better, and I think that’s caused, I knew this would be nosy, I knew it would be competitive, Boris, I knew there would be competition if you will. And I think some of that is driven, as you put it, some of the issues you’ve risen. Look it’s important we respond, I've spent over six hours of testimony with Congress answering those questions, we’ve provided documentation. We’re doing what we need to do there to get beyond it and to focus on the agenda and still getting things done in the midst of it.
Pruitt: I’ve actually made some of those changes. So, I’m trying to learn from this process and make sure that the agency applies different checks and balances in the future but continue to focus on getting results at the same time.
Boris: So, you are making some of those changes to make sure.
Boris: There is more oversight?
Pruitt: Absolutely and we should. But that is something that we should endeavor to achieve in the future and now but also focus on the agenda and so both are important.
Here is the bottom line: Scott Pruitt is standing strong in his job. He is calling for more accountability at the agency and insisting that controversy is not distracting him from carrying out key parts of President Trump’s agenda.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.