Jun 15, 2018

Scott Pruitt's laundry list

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's scandal list started with excess bodyguards and first class flights, and has reached the level of farce, leaving him battered by almost daily scoops on his requests for favors and questionable uses of federal resources.

Why it matters: I've been saying this a lot, but this isn't normal.

Over the past two weeks, press reports revealed Pruitt:

  • Asked a public relations executive to get him Rose Bowl tickets. He secured them at face value when the going rate was as much as 7x higher. [NYT]
  • Used EPA staffers to help land his daughter a White House internship. [NYT]
  • Asked a top staffer to reach out to GOP donors to get his wife a job. [WaPo]
  • Used his security detail to pick up dry cleaning and search around D.C. for the right kind of lotion. [WaPo]

The big picture: Former aides told the NYT that "Pruitt told them that he expected a certain standard of living akin to wealthier Trump cabinet members. The aides felt as if Mr. Pruitt — who is paid about $180,000 a year — saw them as foot soldiers in achieving that lifestyle."

Go deeper: Scott Pruitt's growing list of bizarre scandals.

Editor's note: We have removed from the above list that Pruitt asked a former Virginia politician for a recommendation letter for his daughter's application to the University of Virginia Law School. The story was originally reported by The New York Times, which issued a correction on June 18, 2018 that the letter was written while Pruitt was still attorney general of Oklahoma — before his stint as EPA administrator.

Go deeper

Live updates: CDC confirms possible community spread of coronavirus

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 first case of the novel coronavirus in a person in the U.S. who did not recently return from a foreign country nor have contact with a confirmed case has been detected, the CDC said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Milwaukee Molson Coors brewery complex on Wednesday, including the shooter, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. Police chief Alfonso Morales told reporters that officers have "more than 20 buildings we have to secure" at the complex and they do not currently have all employees accounted for, as more than 1,000 were at the complex during the shooting.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy