Apr 3, 2018

Scott Pruitt blasts “toxic” Washington amid condo rental controversy

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday dismissed growing criticism over his connection with a lobbyist whom he paid $50 per night for a bedroom in the lobbyist’s apartment near Capitol Hill, telling Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard, "I'm dumbfounded that that’s controversial.”

The backdrop: His remarks come a day after a White House official told the WSJ the administration is digging "a little deeper" to determine if Pruitt's action violated federal ethics rules. On the other hand, Pruitt told Bedard the backlash is part of a concerted effort to undermine President Trump's deregulation agenda, adding: “It’s toxic here in that regard." ABC News first reported the rental controversy last week, which said the lobbyist has clients in industries regulated by the EPA.

Go deeper

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health