Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton on Thursday insisted that EPA Director Scott Pruitt had been a “victim” of Democrats because of news reports which accuse Pruitt of corruption.
At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday, Democrats repeatedly suggested that Pruitt should resign over the reports, but many of the Republicans praised the EPA director.
“You’re not the first person to be the victim of — for lack of a better term — Washington politics,” Barton told Pruitt. “You got picked to be the EPA administrator because of the service you provided for the great state of Oklahoma in fighting some of the Obama administration radical clean air policies.”
Barton went on to thank Pruitt for advising President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
“If you can’t debate the policies in Washington, you attack the personality,” Barton said regarding the reports of Pruitt’s misconduct. “And that’s what’s happening to you. Republicans do it when it’s a Democratic president. The Democrats do it when it’s a Republican president. In my opinion, that’s what’s happening to you.”
In a series of quick questions, Barton dismissed many of Pruitt’s scandals, including allegations that he rented a condo from a lobbyist who has business with the EPA and Pruitt’s use of charter jets and flying first class.
“You’ve been attacked for flying first class,” Barton explained. “Is that illegal?”
“That was approved by the travel office and security team at the EPA,” Pruitt replied.
“But that was not illegal,” Barton said, continuing his questioning. “There was an energy secretary under the Clinton administration, she leased party jets that were used by rock stars. Party jets. Not one time but several times. Have you ever rented a party jet?”
“No, congressman,” Pruitt answered.
“Okay, that’s good,” Barton remarked.
Watch the video below.
Michael Avenatti says he has El Chapo’s former jail cell — which the drug dealer described as ‘torture’: report
Attorney Michael Avenatti, the colorful attorney who came to prominence representing Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump, is unhappy with his jail conditions.
On Monday, his attorney wrote to the federal judge overseeing his trial to complain about the jail conditions Avenatti is experiencing during pre-trial detention.
Scott Srebnick, Avenatti's attorney, wrote to Judge Paul Gardephe to complain about the "notorious 10-South" section of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is being held in the Special Housing Unit.
"He is in a cell reportedly once occupied by El Chapo, on a floor that houses individuals charged with terrorism offenses," Avenatti's attorney wrote.
It is Greta Thunberg vs Donald Trump at climate-focused Davos gathering of economic elites: report
The starkly opposed visions of US President Donald Trump and Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change will clash in Davos on Tuesday as the World Economic Forum tries to face up to the perils of global warming on its 50th meeting.
The four-day gathering of the world's top political and business leaders in the Swiss Alps gets under way seeking to meet head-on the dangers to both the environment and economy from the heating of the planet.
Trump, who has repeatedly expressed scepticism about climate change, is set to give the first keynote address of Davos 2020 on Tuesday morning, on the same day as his impeachment trial opens at the Senate in Washington.
‘Which Senator up this year most deserves to lose?’: Preet Bharara flooded with replies to provocative question
Former United States Attorney Preet Bharara asked his 1.2 million Twitter followers a provocative question on the eve of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
With worries that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is presiding over a sham trial, many analysts have suggested that the Senate itself will be on trial.
"Which Senator up this year most deserves to lose?" Bharara, who was fired by Trump, asked.
There are a number of potentially vulnerable Republicans facing voters in 2020, including McConnell himself, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).