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If Pruitt can establish a long, personal relationship with either or both of the lobbyists - one where, if he visited D.C.in the past in his capacity as Oklahoma attorney general he would have been offered the same deal - then this might be exempt from the ethics rules. The fossil fuel lobbyists Pruitt is taking favors and marching orders from are telling him to throw out the safeguards that keep our air and water safe from their pollution, and our kids are at risk as a result.

In December, Pruitt and members of his staff spent about $40,000 in public funds to fly to Morocco to help encourage the import of liquefied natural gas from the United States. The company paid Williams and Jensen $400,000 in 2017 to lobby on issues that included EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, records showed. Hart said he did not work on the account, and while the firm had two meetings with Pruitt since he joined Trump's cabinet, "I was not aware of them", he said.

While living in the home, Hart continued to have dinner parties and functions, raising questions about whether political fundraisers were held in the House while Pruitt was there.

No one else, however, lived in the condo during the time Pruitt rented it.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lived in a condo tied to a lobbyist, some of whose firm's clients lobbied the agency over the past year.

EPA officials reportedly looked for documentation that Pruitt paid rent after ABC News reported Thursday about the living arrangement.

Since last summer, Pruitt's housing costs have escalated dramatically.

A White House official said the source of the frustration stems from the fact that White House officials began learning about this issue from media reports, not Pruitt himself, an issue that officials have complained about in the past over controversies involving Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and recently-fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

A typical full studio or one-bedroom apartment in the same area would cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per month, a search of current listings indicates.

Several months later, he moved again, signing another lease in a new luxury apartment complex back on Capitol Hill.

On Thursday, ABC uncovered property records linking the lobbyist couple to the property Pruitt occupied for the first six months of his time in Washington.

All the while, Pruitt has maintained his primary residence in Tulsa - a sprawling, 5,518-foot mansion in an upscale neighborhood.

EPA officials have argued that Pruitt's first rental in Washington did not represent a conflict of interest.

"I don't conclude that this is a prohibited gift at all", she told CBS News. The EPA later shared documents with Bloomberg News showing that the arrangement was not a traditional monthly rental agreement; instead Pruitt paid only for the nights that he slept in the room.

EPA head Scott Pruitt has been under scrutiny for his alleged excessive spending.

But records show that the administrator's dozens of first-class flights and upscale hotel stays have meant big bills for taxpayers.

The Williams & Jensen lobbyist acting on OGE Energy's behalf, George Baker, was also listed as attending a meeting with Pruitt and other OGE executives last March, according to the administrator's private calendar obtained by E&E News under the Freedom of Information Act. Sarbanes is on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight over the EPA.


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