Bush's EPA chief: Pruitt's 'ethical tone-deafness' is 'unbelievable'


Former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman is a loyal Republican — and she still can't believe Scott Pruitt has a job.

As White House aides push for Trump to dump scandal-plagued EPA chief Scott Pruitt, a prominent Republican and past Bush administration EPA administrator says Pruitt's ethical troubles defy belief.

On Tuesday morning, MSNBC's Hallie Jackson interviewed former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, and asked her, "When you were EPA administrator, would you have expected to keep your job if you did what Scott Pruitt did?"

"No, not past the first minute," Whitman said. "The ethical tone-deafness of this man is just unbelievable, and it's costing us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. And people have got to start getting upset about it."

Whitman took heavy criticism as EPA administrator for falsely telling the public that the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breathe following the 9/11 attacks. She eventually apologized, but continued to insist she had given the best information available at the time. An inspector general's report found that the Bush White House influenced EPA reports that the air was safe. Whitman was described as a loyal team player to the end when she resigned her post after 28 months.

But loyalty to party isn't stopping Whitman from going after Pruitt, and with good reason. Pruitt is now the subject of at least 11 federal investigations, and the scandals just get more embarrassing. Most recently, he was found out to have reportedly dropped $1,200 in taxpayer money on a luxury dinner in Rome with two aides last year.

And last week, a top Pruitt aide was busted trying to shop negative stories about Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in order to take some of the heat off Pruitt.

Pruitt has managed to hold onto his job through months of scandal, often benefitting from larger distractions like the Ronny Jackson debacle, or Rudy Giuliani's current media firestorm.

But eventually, the smoke will clear, and Pruitt will be left holding a bag full of scandals that even Trump's White House can't abide.