In yet another ethically dubious move, embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has apparently been planning out an international bucket list, the country stops planned and often determined by lobbyists and friends, according to a Thursday Washington Post report.
One stop of Pruitt’s globetrotting made headlines recently: a $100,000 four-day December excursion which was arranged and guided by his good friend Richard Smotkin, a former lobbyist who won a lucrative contract with the Moroccan government a few months after the trip.
The Washington Post reports that this trip was part of a pattern.
Pruitt reportedly had a February trip planned to Israel, which was cancelled immediately before his departure when news broke about his expensive travel habits. The trip, which included seemingly non-EPA related stops to a settlement on the West Bank and to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was pitched to Pruitt and arranged by major Republican donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Sens. Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have written a letter requesting more information about the trip.
Per the Post, American Australian Council treasurer Matthew Freedman similarly arranged a September trip for Pruitt to Australia, where Pruitt was slated to promote liquified natural gas exports. The trip was also cancelled.
Pruitt’s travel wish list also reportedly included Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Panama, Poland, Japan, India and Canada, and former staff members told the Post that he wanted the trips doled out one per month.