A senior Republican senator is defending the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, calling ethics allegations against Scott Pruitt “outrageous” and “lies.”
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe’s comments were some of the strongest on Pruitt’s behalf by a member of Congress amid months of federal ethics investigations.
The probes are examining allegations that Pruitt misused his office to get perks for himself and his family, as well as scrutinizing his first-class travel and high security costs.
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Inhofe sparred with Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware over Pruitt at a Senate committee hearing Wednesday. Carper urged that Pruitt appear quickly before the panel; a hearing has tentatively been set for August.
Inhofe says Pruitt’s job required him to take premium-class trips to Morocco and Italy. He blamed the news media for Pruitt’s troubles.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.