Quantcast

Pruitt Called Trump a Threat to the Constitution, Leaked Audio Reveals

Popular
"There are a great many Americans who share the concerns that you expressed in that interview," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told Pruitt. CSPAN / Screengrab

By Jake Johnson

Given U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt's lengthy record of "lying his ass off" about climate change for the benefit of his pals in the fossil fuel industry, one could be forgiven for believing that he is incapable of honesty.

But leaked audio from a radio interview Pruitt gave in February 2016—in which he said Donald Trump "would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama"—appears to provide evidence that he is, in fact, "capable of telling the truth."


According to a transcript of the interview made public by the corporate watchdog group Documented for the first time on Tuesday, Pruitt—then Oklahoma's attorney general—also agreed when radio host Pat Campbell characterized Trump as "dangerous" and a "bully."

"That's right," Pruitt said. "If Donald Trump is the nominee and eventually the president, he would take, I think unapologetic steps to use executive power to confront Congress in a way that is truly unconstitutional."

Pruitt's explosive remarks emerged just before he was set to appear at a hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he faced questions from Democrats about his aggressive moves to gut environmental regulations.

But Democrats also seized upon the golden opportunity to highlight Pruitt's remarks, particularly because they were released just hours before Trump is set to deliver his first State of the Union Address.

Following Pruitt's opening statement, which didn't once mention the words "climate change," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) unveiled several posters displaying Pruitt's remarks and asked the EPA chief if he recalled making these comments about the man who now occupies the nation's highest office.

"There are a great many Americans who share the concerns that you expressed in that interview," Whitehouse said before rattling off Pruitt's comments.

In response, Pruitt insisted that he does not recall using those words, adding later that he would not "echo" those sentiments today.

Watch:

Shortly after Tuesday's hearing came to a close, Pruitt released a fawning statement hailing Trump as "the most consequential leader of our time."

"No one has done more to advance the rule of law than President Trump," Pruitt said. (Polls have shown that a majority of Americans believe Trump has attempted to "impede or obstruct" special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.)

Reacting to Pruitt's newly-surfaced interview, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said "It's sad that Donald Trump is likely more upset about Scott Pruitt's accurate portrayal of him than Pruitt's relentless attacks on clean air, clean water, and the health of the American public.

"But Trump prizes his ego above anyone else, so Pruitt should watch his back," Brune added. "Keep your eyes on Trump moving forward—will Pruitt wind up in the dog house like Jeff Sessions, or out of a job like Tom Price?"

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Juvenile hatchery salmon flushed from a tanker truck in San Francisco Bay, California. Ben Moon

That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store's fish counter won't look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia.

Read More Show Less
Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Coconut meat is the white flesh inside a coconut.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Taylor Jones, RD

Oats are a highly nutritious grain with many health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.

Read More Show Less
Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

It seems like every day a new diet is declared the healthiest — paleo, ketogenic, Atkins, to name a few — while government agencies regularly release their own recommended dietary guidelines. But there may not be an ideal one-size-fits-all diet, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Logging shown as part of a thinning and restoration effort in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon on Oct. 22, 2014. Oregon Department of Forestry / CC BY 2.0

The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.

Read More Show Less
Homes in Washington, DC's Brookland neighborhood were condemned to clear room for a highway in the 1960s. The community fought back. Brig Cabe / DC Public Library

By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia

In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."

Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.

Read More Show Less