EPA Says It Publicized All Events On Pruitt’s Pricey Trip To Morocco

WASHINGTON, DC - December 7:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Pete Marovich/Getty Images North America

The calendar for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s trip to Morocco last year shared with ABC News in response to a Freedom of Information Act request appeared to black out most of Pruitt’s events during the trip.

But the EPA now says it publicized every meeting on the trip.

The December trip, which cost an estimated $40,000, has come under scrutiny along with Pruitt’s other expensive actions, like flying on first class domestic flights, hiring a round-the-clock security detail, building an expensive sound booth, and renting a room at a prominent lobbyist’s home. It was during this trip to Morocco that Pruitt promoted the energy company represented by the lobbyist who rented a room to Pruitt in Washington, D.C.

The calendar shared with ABC News showed that Pruitt met with Moroccan officials to discuss environmental issues, toured a green energy facility, and met with the leader of the state-owned mining company. However, the EPA redacted the rest of Pruitt’s schedule, leaving it unclear how much official business Pruitt conducted during his time in Morocco.

But on Friday afternoon, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox sent over a copy of the un-redacted calendar, which showed that the redacted material was a senior staff meeting at EPA headquarters, not any events on Pruitt’s Morocco trip. 

“The four page redaction to the Morocco schedule is simply a calendar entry for a Senior Staff Meeting at EPA Headquarters in DC, which the Administrator did not attend because he was in Morocco,” Wilcox said. “The entry includes all attendees invited to the meeting, which is the reason for the extensive redaction. Every meeting that took place in Morocco has been publicized and included on the Administrator’s schedule.”

This story has been significantly updated based on a response from the EPA

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