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Scott Pruitt was asked to stop eating at the White House

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s reluctance to pay full price for anything continues to backfire

by Christianna Silva
Jun 7 2018, 3:16pm

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s reluctance to pay full price for anything, from his cheap apartment in D.C. to his request for a used mattress from the Trump hotel, has backfired spectacularly, and the hits just keep coming. According to a new embarrassing report, he dined at the bargain-priced White House mess hall so much they had to ask him to stop coming.

Pruitt loved eating at the West Wing dining hall so much, an exclusive U.S. Navy-run restaurant, according to Politico — that the White House was forced to send out a public memo requesting Cabinet members to use it less often. The restaurant is only open to White House officials, other dignitaries, and Cabinet members.

“We love having Mr. Pruitt, but it’s not meant for everyday use,” one source told Politico. Another added that the White House asked Cabinet members to visit the mess only occasionally because there just wasn’t enough space for them to use it every day.

And the EPA administrator did eat there every day, enjoying the bargain-priced food. In typical Pruitt fashion, he apparently racked up quite a sizable bill. In July 2017, he paid $400 for nine different visits to the mess, eating things like a $7.05 hamburger and $10.25 cowboy skirt steak, according to Politico. He also ordered popcorn chicken and waffles, spinach strawberry salad and beer-braised brisket tacos. And he loved a good “chocolate freedom,” a dessert of molten chocolate cake made with imported French chocolate.

Allies of Pruitt told Politico that he wasn’t the only person who ate there every day, though none of them disputed the assertion that Pruitt visited the restaurant frequently.

And it's just one of a dozen-odd scandals plaguing Pruitt’s tenure. He has come under fire for, among other things, renting a lobbyist's condo in the capital for an extremely low rate, giving raises to favorite staffers he later denied giving, flying first class across the U.S. on the taxpayer's dollar, spending $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth, and allegedly lying about threats to get increased security.

While some Senate Republicans have called these scandals “nitpicking,” others are not so happy, The New York Times reported. Among them: Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, who called Pruitt a moron Wednesday.

“I think he’s hurting his boss, and when he hurts his boss, he’s hurting the American people,” Kennedy said.

But despite it all, President Donald Trump seems happy with Pruitt.

“Thank you, Scott, very much. EPA is doing really, really well. And you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit,” Trump told him Wednesday during a briefing on the coming hurricane season, the Times reported. “People are really impressed with the job that’s being done at the EPA. Thank you very much, Scott.”

Cover image: Getty