Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is awash in absurd scandals of his own making, ranging from his wasting of taxpayer dollars on pointless luxuries like a sound-proof booth for his office, to his absurdly expensive security team, to corruptly pushing for salary raises for his friends.
Fearful that he might soon collapse beneath the weight of his mounting controversies, Pruitt’s team has chosen a surprising course of action to distract from all the wrongdoing.
The Atlantic reports that Michael Abboud, a member of Pruitt’s press team, has been peddling damaging stories about Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to the media in an attempt to move the lion’s share of negative coverage from Pruitt to Zinke.
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Specifically, the stories being shopped around town were aimed at “taking the heat off of Pruitt,” according to The Atlantic’s sources.
“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,” writes Elaina Plott of The Atlantic.
Luckily for Zinke, journalists decided Abboud’s stories weren’t worth covering and rejected them for publication.
For obvious reasons, the White House is less than thrilled with the petty infighting. After the Interior Department complained to the White House Presidential Personnel Office, the PPO reached out to the EPA to see if they could fire Abboud. The office learned that they lacked the authority and that only Secretary Pruitt himself can order the termination.
A spokesman for the EPA has denied that Abboud did what is alleged, although the entire messy affair is exactly what one would expect from a government run by Trumpian charlatans and criminals.
The degree of chaos and palace intrigue on display is almost unprecedented in modern American history and demonstrates exactly what happens when you elect a vindictive game show host to run your country. It’s an administration full of cornered rats, and they’re starting to eat each other alive.