House Speaker Paul Ryan actually expects us to believe he hasn't heard about the scandals that are consuming the EPA.
Paul Ryan might be speaker of the House and second in line to the presidency, but that doesn't mean he pays any attention to anything.
Scandals that lead the news and consume all the oxygen in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — just aren't on his radar. He hasn't heard about it, doesn't know about it, and therefore can't comment on it.
That's his usual dodge for anything related to Trump, and now he's invoking his "Gee, I just don't know" excuse to get out of opining on EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who is facing more than investigations.
"Frankly, I haven't paid that close attention to it," Ryan told reporters Thursday. "I don't know enough about what Pruitt has or has not done to give you a good comment."
Reporter: Are you confident in EPA Admin. Pruitt?
Speaker Ryan: "Frankly I haven't paid that close attention to it ... I don't know enough about what Pruitt has or has not done to give you a good comment." pic.twitter.com/sd2DJMwQD8
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 14, 2018
The real question, at this point, is what hasn't Pruitt done? He's the subject of at least 11 federal investigations for all kinds of abuse of his office and misuse of taxpayer funds, including for his unprecedented round-the-clock security detail because people have said mean things to and about him.
Pruitt has categorized criticism of him and his policies as "threats" and even used those supposed "threats" to justify flying first class — again, on the taxpayers' dime. That's a practice for which he was outright ridiculed during a recent Senate hearing.
Meanwhile, Pruitt's aides are quitting left and right because his agency is such a mess. Well, some of his aides. Others have enjoyed the raises he gave them by exploiting a loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act, even though the Presidential Personnel Office rejected Pruitt's application for these pay increases. (One of those aides recently resigned as well.)
The number of Pruitt scandals are growing at such an exponential rate, they're almost too many to count.
They're so bad that even Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican senator from Pruitt's state of Oklahoma and a long-time mentor and supporter, has suggested maybe it's time for Pruitt to leave.
But Paul Ryan hasn't heard about any of this, apparently. He hasn't seen the dozens of reports in the papers or on TV. He hasn't heard his Republican colleagues comment about it.
Nope, Ryan just doesn't know enough to have an opinion on Pruitt and whether this shameful swamp creature should leave. How very convenient for Ryan.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.