‘Friendly’ or ‘Unfriendly’

Emails Show Pruitt’s Push for Secrecy at EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt has made efforts to keep Pruitt’s daily schedule and events out of the public eye, according to over 10,703 pages of emails obtained by the Sierra Club and The New York Times. In one document, a Toyota official told the EPA that the company wouldn’t response to a CBS reporter’s request to attend Pruitt’s “secret” visit to a Texas Toyota plant “until the visit is over.” In another email exchange, aides walked back the idea of a “town-hall” in Iowa, saying that Pruitt would not be available for public questions and would only respond to questions written by the EPA. Agency officials would routinely categorize guests and news outlets as “friendly” or “unfriendly,” according to the documents. The emails also show that when Pruitt was invited to a fundraiser to receive an award from his “longtime supporter” Richard Smotkin, the Ethics department questioned the event at first—then approved it after Pruitt agreed not to be referred to as an agency administrator. “So, yay! It’s been approved through ethics,” Pruitt scheduler Millan Hupp wrote.