Simultaneously, a Washington Post report chronicles a host of Pruitt's previously unknown ethical misdeeds, including using his post as EPA administrator to try to rustle up his wife Marlyn a job paying at least $200,000. Occasionally appearing to refer to notes and speaking calmly, she cites his actions on water and air quality protection and tells him his policies have benefitted corporations over the environment.
Mink reportedly teaches sixth grade at Sidwell Friends, the school where former President Obama's daughters attended.
"We deserve to have someone at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children", Mink said.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have sharply criticized Pruitt, but President Trump has stuck by an appointee whose scandals have dwarfed the controversies that have felled other administration officials. "She's trying to just tell the truth and get on with her life". In the tirade, Mink tells Pruitt a few times that he should resign, and brings up the scandals faced by the official in recent months.
Dravis said she declined his request, saying she was anxious the call would violate the Hatch Act and that she wanted to avoid potential conflicts of interest. A group of people protesting Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy interrupted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's meal at a Mexican restaurant, chanting "if kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace".
Mink said Pruitt and the person he was with left without responding. Nielsen was a staunch defender of the administration's policy of forcibly separating children from their parents after entering the United States illegally.
The new accounts by Pruitt's handpicked staff come as EPA's chief ethics officer, Kevin Minoli, has urged the agency's Office of Inspector General to broaden its review of Pruitt's conduct.
Both aides described instances in which their boss pressed to travel first-class or via private jet, while Dravis acknowleged that Pruitt asked his subordinates to do non-official work for him, multiple individuals said. Hupp was also told to look into purchasing "an old mattress" for Pruitt from the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., a request she said wasn't for EPA business.