In Very Smart Move, Scott Pruitt Aide Tried to Sic Press on Ryan Zinke to Take Heat Off EPA

Illustration for article titled In Very Smart Move, Scott Pruitt Aide Tried to Sic Press on Ryan Zinke to Take Heat Off EPA
Image: AP

Amid an absolute barrage of negative stories about sweaty hustler and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, one intrepid aide attempted to use the ancient art of misdirection in order to protect his boss.


The Atlantic reports that the staffer, Michael Abboud, shopped around negative stories about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in order to “take the heat off” Pruitt, a normal, relatable public relations strategy that I used plenty of times on my brother from the years 1997-2005. Confusingly, the stories being shopped reportedly alleged that Zinke’s team was trying to leak negative stories about Pruitt. An EPA spokesman denied that this happened. The White House is reportedly “enraged.” I would like to go away now, please! To any other country!

From The Atlantic:

Abboud alleged to reporters that an Interior staffer conspired with former EPA deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski to leak damaging information about the EPA, as part of a rivalry between Zinke and Pruitt. The collaboration, Abboud claimed, allowed the Interior staffer to prop up Zinke at the expense of Pruitt, and Chmielewski to “get back” at his former boss.

What fun. Though I suppose it will be worth the headache I am experiencing right now if these two bad oil slicks light each other’s careers on fire.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.


Pumpkin Andy is Orange

I have worked in some terrible situations (with insane, aggressive work-politics) in various government jobs, and even I would not work for/around these shit gibbons.