Laura Ingraham is a star on the cable channel that Donald Trump just can’t seem to get enough of, so she almost serves as an unofficial adviser to the president. But will he heed her advice to show the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the door?
As reported by The Hill, Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham recently used Donald Trump’s favorite social media platform to offer the former host of The Apprentice some guidance on who he should fire next. Politico pointed out that Ingraham is one of only 46 people who have the honor of being followed by Trump on Twitter, so there’s no way that the president missed her plea.
Ingraham kept her tweet short and sweet, using all caps and fewer than 20 words to tell Trump that Scott Pruitt needs to be the next administrative official to get the boot. Instead of focusing on how ethics issues and wasteful spending are bad for the EPA and the country, she decided to caution Trump that Pruitt’s actions could reflect negatively on the president.
“PRUITT BAD JUDGMENT HURTING @POTUS, GOTTA GO: Pruitt had aide, GOP donors help wife find job: report,” Ingraham wrote.
She made similar remarks on her radio show, saying that Pruitt is “hurting the president because he has bad judgment after bad judgment after bad judgment.” She also criticized Pruitt for using his office for personal benefit.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 13, 2018
Scott Pruitt has generated a steady stream of negative headlines since Donald Trump named the climate change skeptic the head of the EPA in December 2016. However, the final straw that made Laura Ingraham decide to speak out against him was a story first reported by the Washington Post. According to the outlet, Pruitt instructed a member of his staff, former policy adviser Samantha Dravis, to conduct a job search for his wife Marlyn by contacting wealthy GOP donors who could offer her work. His efforts seemingly paid off when she landed a temporary gig working as an independent contractor for the Judicial Crisis Network.
If a “Tom Price” is the unit of scandal necessary for a Trump cabinet member to resign in disgrace, then isn’t Pruitt approaching 20 Tom Prices at this point? https://t.co/TeBPord9wo
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) June 13, 2018
Donald Trump has not responded to Laura Ingraham’s warning, but Scott Pruitt has already survived numerous negative reports about how he’s been abusing his office for personal gain. Axios recently compiled a list of some of his headline-grabbing scandals, which include another attempt to use his position of power to help his wife get a job. According to the Washington Post, he asked a staff member to set up a meeting between his wife and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of Marlyn Pruitt becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee.
Pruitt has also been criticized for spending an exorbitant amount of money on travel and his security detail, and it’s been reported that he had EPA employees perform numerous personal tasks for him. This included instructing his security detail pick up his dry cleaning and hunt down his favorite moisturizing lotion from the Ritz-Carlton.
Back in April, Donald Trump defended Scott Pruitt’s spending on security with a tweet that Politifact rated as mostly false.
“While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA,” Trump wrote. “Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!”
Laura Ingraham isn’t the only one who disagrees with Trump’s assessment of Pruitt’s job performance. According to Vox, longtime Pruitt ally Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) talked to Ingraham about Pruitt on Wednesday during an interview on her radio show. He suggested that Pruitt should consider leaving the EPA, and he even recommended a replacement for his friend, EPA deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe said he was nearing his limit with US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and that an agreeable alternative would be to replace Pruitt with his deputy https://t.co/bY3Pnhj2GS pic.twitter.com/PXQzBbcDSZ
— CNN International (@cnni) June 13, 2018
It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump will also turn on Scott Pruitt, but it looks like the president doesn’t have to worry about losing Laura Ingraham’s support if he ignores her advice. Hours after she recommended that Pruitt be given a pink slip, Ingraham took to Twitter to praise the president.
“Right now @realDonaldTrump is making stunning progress on many fronts,” Ingraham wrote. “Any official who demonstrates consistently poor judgment shd quit or be shown the door. #DraintheSwamp.”