Pruitt to play the blame game at upcoming hearings

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Photo: Jason Andrew/Getty Images

When embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before Congress Thursday for hours of questioning, he plans to blame numerous spending and ethical probes hanging over him on his staffers, per an internal talking points document obtained by the New York Times.

The details: As the Times notes, Pruitt is facing 10 separate investigations by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, his agency’s inspector general’s office, the congressional watchdog Government Accountability Office and others. Pruitt, bogged by mounting calls from Democrats and a handful of Republicans to step down, will testify before two House committees regarding the EPA's budget.

The backdrop: The White House has repeatedly lauded Pruitt for his work to unravel numerous Obama-era environmental regulations. But press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday offered no defense when reporters listed his alleged ethical mishaps. “We’re evaluating these concerns and we expect the EPA administrator to answer for them," Sanders responded.