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Rep. Joe Barton calls Scott Pruitt ‘the victim’ and thanks him for stopping Obama’s ‘radical clean air’ agenda

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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.

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“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.

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“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?”

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“No, congressman,” Pruitt answered.

“Okay, that’s good,” Barton remarked.

Watch the video below.

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Dutch man arrested for ‘Black Pete’ suicide bomb threat

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Dutch police have arrested a man who threatened in a social media post to blow himself up over plans to sideline "Black Pete", a Christmas-time character provoking accusations of racist stereotyping.

The arrest is the latest controversy over the country's traditional Saint Nicholas side kick, portrayed in winter parades and by many Dutch children with a black face, thick red lips, woolly hair and a golden earring.

"A 49-year-old man from The Hague was arrested Monday afternoon after he threatened to blow himself up in support of the Saint Nicholas tradition," police said in a statement.

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Trump’s claim on halting Ukraine aid contradicted by Pentagon official Laura Cooper

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According to a new report from The Daily Beast, after the Pentagon's June announcement that it would give Ukraine $250 million in aid, Defense Department officials received a list of questions, seemingly originating from President Trump, seeking information about the aid.

“We got a question from my chain of command forwarded down from the chief of staff, I believe, from the Department of Defense, asking for a follow-up on a meeting with the President,” top Pentagon official Laura Cooper testified on Capitol Hill last month. “The way the email was phrased, it said follow-up from POTUS meeting, so follow-up from a meeting with the President. So, you know, I'm thinking that the questions were probably questions from the President. That's how I interpreted that subject line.”

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Kellyanne Conway snaps after Fox News host mentions Adam Schiff

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On Fox News Tuesday, anchor Bill Hemmer asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway about the impeachment hearings — and she lost her temper as soon as he brought up House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

"How concerned is the president over these hearings?" asked Hemmer.

"The president is not concerned at all," said Conway. "The business of the people of this country is not being done ... the Capitol behind me is not a movie set, it is not a cardboard cutout. It’s where your representatives work for you, wasting your money and their time."

"Just to come back to this, I am told that Adam Schiff delivers the opening statement tomorrow," said Hemmer.

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