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White House freaking out over EPA chief's living arrangements

White House freaking out over EPA chief's living arrangements”

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt's security detail broke down the door of the Capitol Hill condo he rented from the wife of an energy lobbyist past year because they believed the Trump cabinet member was unconscious, according to a report Friday. "Engine three, Medic two respond to unconscious person", the radio transmission said.

Previously, the EPA confirmed a Bloomberg Thursday night story that Pruitt had been renting the condo on a day-by-day basis, only paying for the nights he used the single bedroom. Sources told ABC News that Pruitt was groggy and rising from a nap.

Pruitt leased the bedroom, living in the condo during his first six months in Washington.

ABC said Pruitt worked directly to set up the deal with the condo's co-owner Vicki Hart, who is married to Steven Hart, a prominent lobbyist who represents companies regulated under the Clean Air Act. In at least one case Pruitt met in his EPA office with a lobbyist from Hart's firm while he was renting the room, records showed.

Pruitt reportedly worked out a sweetheart $50-a-night deal with Hart - only paying for nights he stayed at the Washington apartment and writing checks sporadically for a total of $6,100 over the course of six months past year.

Other apartments in the building rented for as much as $5,000 per month, according to ABC News.

Fugh said she was told Pruitt has since moved to another apartment, though she said she was not privy to any details about where the administrator is now staying, who owns that property or what rate he is paying. Cheniere, the lobbying client of Hart's firm, is now the only exporter of liquefied natural gas from the continental United States. "It was a routine business transaction and permissible even if from a personal friend".

"It doesn't seem that the EPA's so-called ethics office had a problem with this or any of Pruitt's other questionable actions", said Cook. "A short-term lease is expensive. My assumption would be this situation does not involve the hallmarks of a specific fair market transaction".

A House oversight committee and the EPA's inspector general are now reviewing Pruitt's travel spending. He has defended the expenses, saying he has faced "unprecedented" security threats from travelers.



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