A right-wing group is running ads demanding that President Donald Trump go all “Apprentice” on EPA chief Scott Pruitt.
“Mr. President, you know what to do,” the voiceover says, and then the video cuts to old footage of Trump from his old reality-TV days, pointing a finger at the camera and saying “You’re fired.”
The 30-second spot was put out by the American Future Fund, an Iowa-based marketing firm with ties to Republican megadonors Charles and David Koch. It makes the argument — echoed by conservative commentator Laura Ingraham on Twitter on Wednesday — that Pruitt’s seemingly endless list of scandals are an embarrassment to the president. The ad calls Pruitt a “swamp monster.”
The spot will start running this week in North Dakota and Nebraska — two states that produce a lot of corn — according to the Washington Post. It’s timed to coincide with Pruitt’s visit to meet with Midwestern farmers after corn-husking conservatives started to come after him. They’re not primarily angry about his scandals but more about Pruitt handing out waivers to small oil refineries that exempt them from requirements to blend ethanol in with their fuel.
People like Sen. Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who has threatened to call for Pruitt to be fired over the waivers, think they’ll hurt the biofuels and ethanol industries. (Ethanol is a fuel derived from corn.)
"For an administration that professes to support removal of rules and regulations that impede domestic energy production — not to mention supporting American agriculture — this is the opposite of that promise,” Doug Sombke, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union, and National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said in a joint letter to Pruitt.
The American Future Fund usually runs ads targeting Democrats — the organization says it seeks to educate the public on “conservative and free market principles” — it’s taking a break from bashing liberals to slam Pruitt.
Also on Wednesday, the Washington Post revealed that Pruitt had in fact gotten his wife a job at a right-wing advocacy group, the Judicial Crisis Network, and had tasked his staffers with helping her get her position. Last week, after it was revealed that he’d tasked a staffer with trying to get his wife, Marlyn, a job with Chick-fil-A, a number of Democrats upped the pressure on him by calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take up a criminal investigation.
Pruitt, over the course of the last several months, seems to be trying to break some sort of record for amassing scandals. Even Republicans are now getting tired of it — and not just dark money–funded marketing groups.
Pruitt’s ally and mentor, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday, “I’ve taken the position that if that doesn’t stop, I’m going to be forced to be in a position where I’m going to say, well, Scott, you’re not doing your job.”
You can watch the ad here: