Mar 30, 2018

Report: EPA head stayed in D.C. apartment owned by health care lobbyist

Scott Pruitt. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, has been paying $50 per night for a bedroom in an apartment near Capitol Hill, according to a Bloomberg report. This follows criticism over Pruitt’s first class flights as administrator, as well as several other cabinet members’ spending habits.

The cause for concern: The owner of the apartment is a health care lobbyist, Vicki Hart. Her husband, J. Steven Hart, has clients who are in industries that are regulated by the EPA, although it isn't clear if Hart had direct contact with the EPA regarding his client. Pruitt has been paying in lump sums sporadically, without a typical month to month payment, per Bloomberg. An ethics counsel at the EPA, Justine Fugh, said it isn’t an ethics concern because he is paying rent.

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.