EPA head laughs off Chick-fil-A questions; senior aide quits

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"Sarah Greenwalt, a senior counselor to Pruitt, and Millan Hupp, who worked as Pruitt's scheduling director, both resigned on Wednesday".

"If Ms. Hupp's statements to the Committee are accurate, Administrator Pruitt crossed a very clear line and must be held accountable", he said in a letter.

Pruitt is now the subject of multiple inquiries into his actions at the agency from ethics watchdogs, federal auditors and congressional committees.

This week, we learned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had a staffer contact the president of Chick-fil-A to try to land his wife, Marlyn, a franchise deal. Thomas Carper of DE, reiterated his call that Pruitt step down. Federal employees are subject to specific rules created to prevent officials from using their office for personal gain or taking advantage of subordinates.

However, President Donald Trump, who has encouraged Pruitt's rollback of environmental regulations at the EPA, continued to publicly stand by Pruitt.

EPA mails obtained by the Sierra Club under the Freedom of Information Act show Sydney Hupp, then Pruitt's scheduler, reaching out to Chick-fil-A executive Dan Cathy on May 18, 2017, for a meeting, at Pruitt's request, she wrote in the email. He's "doing really, really well", Trump said Wednesday, at a gathering with Pruitt and other agency and Cabinet leaders.

Pruitt and his aides also put out feelers among government and private contacts about interior decorator work for Pruitt's wife, according to Chmielewski, who says he was sacked from the agency after challenging some of Pruitt's spending. "Somebody has to say that about you a little bit, you know that, Scott".

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) called for Pruitt to resign earlier this week, saying, " He 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". Hupp's departure came after lawmakers released her testimony to the congressional panel. "Chick-fil-A is a franchise of faith, and it's one of the best in the country", Pruitt told Nexstar correspondent Jessica Smith.

The EPA chief is the subject of several investigations into alleged ethical lapses.