Former Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s short, 16-month reign was marked by a truly astounding amount of grift as well as a callous disregard for pesky little problems like climate change, but given how many top Trump administration officials we lost in 2018, it’s easy to forget just how much he sucked.
A new Washington Post piece is here to remind us—from nicely and very precisely detailing how much Pruitt spent on travel and security during his first year ($837,690.15); to ruminating on his legacy at the EPA (“a largely unused, $43,000 soundproof phone booth and a spot on a wall for a portrait that remains unfinished” as well as a gutting of environmental protections that we will have to contend with for decades); as well as telling us what he’s up to now (promoting coal exports and styling himself as an “energy consultant”). We also learn that his parting gift when he left the Trump administration was a chair—that he had to buy himself.
More on this touching if sad vignette:
Several months ago, according to two senior administration officials, Pruitt’s former chief of staff at EPA took up a collection among the agency’s political appointees to buy Pruitt’s chair from White House Cabinet meetings — a traditional parting gift for any administration’s highest-serving officers. The effort raised only a fraction of the chair’s more than $1,200 purchase price.
But Pruitt never had any intention of having his former aides pay for the chair, Mitchell said. This fall, he got in touch with the White House and bought the leather-bound seat himself.
Sure makes me feel better about the $50 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card I got one year from my former coworkers.