Ex-EPA Deputy Chief of Staff: Pruitt ‘Bold-Faced’ Lied to Congress

Former EPA deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski said Administrator Scott Pruitt “bold-faced” lied to Congress when he denied retaliating against staffers who questioned his spending habits. Chmielewski told ABC News he was “100 percent” forced out over his concerns about Pruitt’s spending and said he started getting pushed out after he refused to sign off on a ticket for a first-class flight for an aide. “I refused to do it. And, once again, I think that was some of the beginning of the retaliation, and why you know, ’cause I said absolutely not,” Chmielewski said. “And I kinda got in trouble behind closed doors for not signing that. Just Kevin, ‘Sign it. You know, be done with it.’ And the last thing I was doing was signing off on that.” According to Chmielewski, chief of staff Ryan Jackson told him that Pruitt either wanted him fired or placed where he “doesn't have to see [him] again.” Chmielewski was also told that Millan Hupp would replace him,and claimed Hupp’s raise—which Pruitt claimed not to know about—was “100 percent Pruitt.” The ABC News report comes after a New York Times article claiming Chmielewski and four others were forced out or reassigned after speaking out about Pruitt’s spending habits.