Pruitt: I Wasn’t Aware Of ‘Amount’ Nor Process Of Five-Figure Raises

Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) chief Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee after ethics scandals April 26, 2018 on Capitol Hill in washington,DC. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / A... Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) chief Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee after ethics scandals April 26, 2018 on Capitol Hill in washington,DC. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday again claimed ignorance, at the time, of five-figure raises given to several senior advisers of his at the EPA.

But his denial differed slightly since he last spoke about the raises.

“I was not aware of the amount, nor was I aware of the bypassing or the [Presidential Personnel Office] process not being respected,” he told Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who asked about his aide Sarah Greenwalt’s reported claim in an internal email that Pruitt had approved of her five-figure raises, which utilized an administrative loophole to escape White House scrutiny.

The comment came during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment.

Pruitt told Tonko that his chief of staff, Ryan Jackson — who signed his own name and “for Scott Pruitt” next to the approvals for Greenwalt’s and others’ raises — utilized “delegations giving him that authority.”

Still, in an interview earlier this month with Fox News, Pruitt said that he’s just “found out about” the raises “yesterday,” when they first made headlines. He didn’t specify that he was unaware specifically of the amount of the raises, and the process by which they were authorized.

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