The lobbying details in Pruitt’s $50-a-night condo scandal continue to change

After news broke that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt rented a condo from the wife of a top fossil fuel lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, at a suspiciously discounted rate, Pruitt and Hart were quick to claim that no meetings between the two had occurred since Pruitt took office. Well, that wasn’t quite the truth. Hart worked on behalf of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest producer of pork, and met with the Pruitt just this year. A Smithfield exec and Hart say the meeting was to discuss the company's philanthropic efforts through the Chesapeake Bay Commission. (In the late 1990s, Smithfield paid $12 million in fines for illegally dumping pig waste into a waterway that empties into the Chesapeake.) But despite Hart's claims that the meeting was unrelated, Smithfield was forced to re-file a disclosure acknowledging that Hart had lobbied the EPA, and Hart resigned the same day. Might be time to get your story straight, Pruitt.

Related Content