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Marc Short on Pruitt: Delivering on agenda doesn't excuse misuse of taxpayer dollars

Trump adviser says Pruitt could acknowledge his mistakes

The full episode of this week's "The Takeout," with White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, will post on Friday morning. 

GARRETT: Next week, will Scott Pruitt still be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency?
 
SHORT: I certainly believe that he will be.
 
GARRETT: Why? So many ethical questions have been raised about him and some Republicans in the House have called for his resignation. What is he doing that that makes him so impervious to this external criticism and so permanent in the eyes of the president?
 
SHORT: I don't believe that he is impervious to -- Major -- I think that the reality is that there's an ongoing IG investigation at the EPA, but if you look at the way that the director -- the administrator, I should say -- has delivered on our agenda and the promises we made, he continues to do it day in and day out. So I think that Scott is -- because of the agenda on the environmental front there's plenty -- it's always going to be a controversial issue. And I think he's always going to be a target no matter what.
 
GARRETT: And do you think that, based on what has been publicly disclosed, his use of taxpayer dollars is defensible?
 
SHORT: I think that we campaigned on a promise to drain the swamp. We have to – we have to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and I think that we take that promise seriously to the American people. I think that there are certain areas that the administrator would acknowledge were mistakes that he would want to fix.
 
GARRETT: He could do a better job?
 
SHORT: Yeah. I think he would acknowledge that.

GARRETT: And the reason I ask is because those who track those who have worked in the president's Cabinet -- like Tom Price, David Shulkin -- also had questions raised and the magnitude, the dollar amount, seems like Scott Pruitt's way ahead of them and he's still working there. 

SHORT: I think that -- 

GARRETT: Is it the delivery on the agenda part that keeps him safe?

SHORT: You know, I think that, Major, he - it's factual to say that he has delivered on the agenda, and that is important. But I don't think that you can say that simply delivering on the agenda excuses misuse of taxpayer dollars. I think that many of the things that are still going on with Scott Pruitt are under investigation, and we're looking at it. 

GARRETT: By the inspector general within the Environmental Protection Agency.

SHORT: Correct. Exactly. 

GARRETT: So, this is not a closed matter. It's still open?

SHORT: That's fair to say.

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