Embattled EPA boss Scott Pruitt was reportedly asked to cut back on his office’s use of a cramped White House dining hall after racking up hefty bills.
Pruitt and Environmental Protection Agency staffers frequented the eatery below the West Wing so often that a White House official let agency personnel know it shouldn’t be treated like a go-to cafeteria, Politico reported.
“We love having Mr. Pruitt, but it’s not meant for everyday use,” someone close to the controversial EPA administrator told the news website.
Pruitt’s office ordered up nearly $400 worth of food in July 2017 from the Navy-operated restaurant, which Politico noted the former Oklahoma attorney general still frequents because the EPA doesn’t have its own cafeteria.
EPA staffers dined on $10.25 “Cowboy” skirt steaks, $11.15 popcorn chicken and waffles and $12.15 pineapple-glazed salmon, according to a billing form obtained by Politico.
Yet sources close to Pruitt, who’s fought off calls to resign for allegations he’s misused his office, stressed to Politico he wasn’t the only offender. The bigger issue may have been renovations that made for tighter quarters in the mess hall.
Records obtained by the Sierra Club through the Freedom of Information Act also show he tried to get his fellow Sooners into the eatery, which serves the highly regarded “Chocolate Freedom” molten cake. Pruitt hosted several Oklahomans at the mess, the records show, including Bob Funk, a prominent Republican in the state and his former business associate.
Pruitt has come under fire for allegations he’s misused his office, including recent reports he had a staffer call Chick-fil-A to help his wife get a franchise. Two EPA officials — including his scheduler — resigned Wednesday amid the pressure on the regulatory agency.