The EPA tried to avoid tough questions for leader Scott Pruitt by only inviting Fox News to a press conference
Scott Pruitt testifies before the testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works January 18, 2017 (image via Aaron P. Bernstein/AFP).

Amid increasingly controversial reports related to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt's oil-lobby linked condo rental in D.C., the department failed to inform reporters from all but Fox News about a rescheduled press conference he held on Tuesday.


CNN reported Tuesday evening that Pruitt was originally scheduled to appear at a press conference at a Chevrolet dealership in Chantilly, Virginia, but after pushback from the company, the EPA rescheduled it to take place at their headquarters. After changing venues, the EPA "attempted to allow television camera access to Fox News without informing the other four networks: CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS," the report noted. After Fox alerted the other networks, a press pool was established.

At the event, some reporters were heard shouting questions about Pruitt's relationship to the president, but CNN reported that by and large, the administrator was able to avoid "tough questions" about the $50-a-night condo that was rented to him by an oil lobbyist's wife who had fundraised for him.

"Most reporters who cover the agency weren't in the room," CNN's report read, "and cameras were nearly non-existent."

One reporter in attendance at the meeting said that they saw journalists who worked for The New York Times, ABC News and Bloomberg — but that many were invited individually and appeared to have run over upon learning of the conference just before it began. The EPA, CNN noted, did not send a notice to the agency's press list.

Earlier in the day, the Times' Hiroko Tabuchi tweeted that nobody from her employer's office had been invited to the conference. Soon after, the Times was sent an invitation, and climate change reporter Lisa Friedman rushed to attend, Tabuchi noted.