When one of President Trump’s loudest and most ardent supporters who has a nationally syndicated radio program and a daily show on Trump’s favorite cable news channel Fox News turns on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, you know he is in real trouble.
Ingraham, who was a lawyer before becoming a conservative author and broadcaster, let loose on the beleaguered Pruitt today in a tweet inspired by the latest stories about his efforts to get his wife a job using his government position and government staff to help.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 13, 2018
An article in The Hill details a long list of other things Pruitt has done, including his excessive spending on security and first-class travel, often to visit his second home in Oklahoma.
Through it all Trump has stood by Pruitt, praising his relentless efforts to eliminate generations of environmental protections, to drive scientists out of the EPA, and to stand by his insistence that there is no global climate crisis caused by human actions despite abundant evidence to the contrary.
“Ingraham isn’t the only conservative calling for Trump to fire Scott Pruitt.” reports The Hill in the article that Ingraham cites.
“Earlier this month, Republican Senator Joni Ernst said she would support his firing,” continues The Hill. “She said Pruitt ‘is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C. And if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own Cabinet.'”
“Another prominent Republican, Senator Chuck Grassley,” adds The Hill, “publicly speculated that the EPA was under the influence of the oil industry, in contrast to Trump’s earlier protestations about draining the swamp in Washington.”
That kind of noise has been ongoing, but having a prominent host on Fox News, where the President turns for his news and opinions, may have a lot more impact on swaying Trump’s opinion.
If a “Tom Price” is the unit of scandal necessary for a Trump cabinet member to resign in disgrace, then isn’t Pruitt approaching 20 Tom Prices at this point? https://t.co/TeBPord9wo
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) June 13, 2018
The Daily Beast points out that Ingraham’s tweet is similar to what host Trevor Noah said last week on The Daily Show.
“That might be the reason that he gets fired, Trump just might be embarrassed,” Noah said then. “Trump doesn’t really care about corruption, but he cares about looking bad.”
The attack on Pruitt is also a rare case of anyone at Fox News speaking out.
“The tweet from Ingraham is especially significant,” writes The Daily Beast, “given just how little attention Fox News has paid to Pruitt’s scandals over the past few months.”
Ingraham herself has been under intense pressure for weeks since she criticized a student from the Parkland, Florida high school where a mass murder took place on Valentines Day. More than two dozen advertisers dropped her program.
Rupert Murdoch and Fox News continue to back her to show they can’t be bullied but she is on the edge, so her statements about Pruitt show that she is a believer not that he is bad for America, but that he is bad for Trump.
That is a message that might finally get through to a president who counts loyalty from people like Pruitt to be a lot more important than truth, honesty or the facts of his many inappropriate and unethical actions.