Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is in hot water again with new allegations of enlisting government employees to carry out his personal business - this time, on behalf of his wife.
On Wednesday, the EPA announced the resignation of Pruitt scheduler Millan Hupp.
President Donald Trump, who has encouraged Pruitt's rollback of environmental regulations at the EPA, continued to publicly stand by Pruitt.
"With great change comes opposition", Pruitt said. "Somebody has to say that about you a little bit, you know that, Scott". "Thank you very much, Scott".
New coverage this week disclosing Pruitt's directive to Hupp to seek a used mattress for him, and another directive to a different staffer to reach out to the Chick-fil-A sandwich chain about a franchise for his family, led several GOP lawmakers to join Democratic colleagues in lambasting Pruitt.
Ethics rules prohibit officials from using their office for private gain.
During his tenure as head of the EPA, Pruitt has been at the center of about a dozen inquiries looking into his actions at the agency. The EPA gave no reason for her departure. Three other senior Pruitt staffers resigned earlier this spring. He wanted to look into the possibility of his wife, Marlyn Pruitt, managing her own Chick-fil-A franchise.
According to other staffers who spoke to The Post anonymously, Pruitt wanted to find his wife a paying job to help cover the cost of running two households - one in Oklahoma and in Washington. He said more are needed in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and around the country.
They were his first comments since recently released EPA emails revealed that he asked another top aide at EPA to inquire about a "business opportunity" with the fast-food company.
The Washington Post reported this week that Pruitt asked his EPA scheduler to arrange a meeting past year with the chief executive of the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. Her sister Sydney Hupp, a former scheduler who left the EPA past year, also recently testified that she was tasked with helping Pruitt's wife set up a meeting to become a Chic-Fil-A franchisee.
Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Tom Carper of DE and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked EPA inspector general Arthur Elkins on Thursday to investigate whether Pruitt is illegally using his EPA post to drum up business deals for his family.
Yesterday also saw Yahoo's United Kingdom arm fined £250,000 for a data breach in 2014 which affected more than 500 million users. The breach saw data on 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records fall into the hands of the hackers.
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