The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who has been beleaguered by skeptics over his $50-a-night rental from the wife of an energy lobbyist reportedly overstayed his welcome at the condo and was thrown out, Politico reported Friday.
Administrator Scott Pruitt extended the length of his lease on multiple occasions, far past the six-week stay his landlords had anticipated, according to the report. The original drawn up lease was for multiple nights between February and April of 2017. Pruitt didn’t move out until July.
His drawn-out stay ultimately forced the landlords to throw Pruitt out and change the locks, two sources told the publication. The landlords had to tell Pruitt the condo was rented out for the month of July, the sources said.
“The original arrangement was that he would be there living out of a suitcase … and it just kept going and going,” one of the sources told Politico.
Both sources described Pruitt as a difficult tenant to the publication.
“Scott Pruitt is the Kato Kaelin of Capitol Hill. He is the long-term houseguest who takes advantage of his hosts and refuses to take a hint about when it’s time to leave,” the second person told the publication.
ABC News first reported last week that Pruitt had rented a condo on a per-night basis from Vicki Hart, the wife of prominent energy lobbyist Steve Hart, who Pruitt has since described as a close friend.
The news landed Pruitt in hot water, with the arrangement being described by some as a “sweetheart deal” because of the unusual lease and the low rate. The EPA has maintained that Pruitt was paying fair market value and was approved by the agency’s ethics department, albeit after the fact.
President Trump denied plans to replace Pruitt following the scandal, tweeting Friday: “Do you believe that the Fake News Media is pushing hard on a story that I am going to replace A.G. Jeff Sessions with EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, who is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege? Do people really believe this stuff? So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!”
BY MIRANDA GREEN – 04/06/18 03:58 PM EDT
The EPA did not respond to a request for comment on the latest report.