From the Weekly Standard:
I get the grifting, I even get the graft.
Human nature being what it is, there is nothing mysterious about Scott Pruitt’s penchant for self-dealing and aggrandizement. He is hardly the first newcomer to be seduced and corrupted by the blandishments of ego, power, prestige, and greed that power the nation’s capital.
This is especially true for officials in an administration that takes its cue from the firm of Giuliani, Cohen, and My Cousin Vinny.
So it’s cringeworthy, but not particularly shocking, that the EPA administrator would have a taste for sweetheart deals with lobbyists, first-class airfare, a 20-person security entourage, motorcades with flashing lights, and a $43,000 super-secret phone booth.
Given the concentric circles of sleaze in Trump World, not even Pruitt’s taste for nepotism seems especially out of place. We now learn that Pruitt somehow found the time to task an EPA aide with trying to help wrangle a Chick Fil-A franchise for his wife Marilyn.
Three months after Scott Pruitt was sworn in as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, his scheduler emailed Dan Cathy, chief executive of the fast-food company Chick-fil-A, with an unusual request: Would Cathy meet with Pruitt to discuss “a potential business opportunity”?
Apparently, nothing came of it, but the attempt to use his office and his staffers to score a deal for his family doesn’t win many points for subtlety (or legality). For Pruitt, it probably just seemed like an another day in a town that now does much of its schmoozing at the Trump Hotel and where the lines between governing and the family business often seem a bit vague.
Pruitt, nonetheless, has become the quintessential swamp creature of the Trump era. Given the competition, this is quite an accomplishment for a guy from Oklahoma.
I get all that. What I don’t get is the mattress.
In testimony to congressional investigators, Pruitt’s now ex-scheduler says that the EPA boss instructed her to track down a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel and to help him find a new apartment.
This is likely illegal:
Federal ethics standards prohibit such personal assistance by a subordinate, even if the employee is working outside of office hours . . . One provision bans the use of government time to handle personal matters. A second provision prohibits bosses from asking employees to handle personal matters for them outside of the office.
It is also incomprehensibly gross.
I mean, sweet jeebus, who wants to furnish their apartment with a hotel mattress? Pruitt’s job is supposed to cleaning up toxic waste sites, not scamming them for his personal bedroom. Hasn’t Pruitt ever seen one of those videos of what a hotel mattress looks like under a black light?*
Read the rest here: