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Environment

Fighting accusations, Scott Pruitt says his trip to Morocco is a «mischaracterization»

Fighting accusations, EPA’s chief Scott Pruitt told Interior-Environment Subcommittee Wednesday that his trip to Morocco was business-related.

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EPA's chief Scott Pruitt./Ph. DR

Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt said Wednesday that his trip to Morocco was business-related, responding to accusations suggesting that the visit was expensive and unnecessary, reports The Washington Examiner.

Answering questions asked by the Senate Appropriations Interior-Environment Subcommittee, a body that has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of the Interior and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt insisted that his voyage to the Kingdom was to discuss a free-trade agreement between the two countries.

«I'm so glad you asked these questions about Morocco», Pruitt said responding to questions from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who called the trip «fishy».

«We were on the ground for 36 hours. To characterize the Morocco trip as anything other than EPA business is simply a mischaracterization», Pruitt answered.

For the record, Scott Pruitt’s trip to the Kingdom in December 2017 has been making headlines in Morocco and the United States. EPA’s head has been accused of promoting liquefied gas imports in Morocco and was questioned for his ridiculously lavish expenses.

Fighting previous accusations

Previous revelations suggested that Pruitt was pushed by an American lobbyist, Richard Smotkin who turned out to be one of his old friends, to come visit Morocco. Pruitt responded to these allegations, saying the only reason why he promoted LNG imports in the Kingdom was because he was asked to do so by the Moroccan embassy in Washington. The latter rejected by its turn the claims, saying that Pruitt was invited to promote sustainable development only.

Latest reports by AP revealed some hidden facts about Scott Pruitt’s suspicious trip which EPA worked on keeping its schedule a secret.

Scott Pruitt and his staff missed a connecting flight in Paris due to weapons and other gear. The recent revelations suggest that Pruitt spent 24 hours in Paris after his staff had problems «transferring the weapons between planes in time», former security Chief Pasquale Perrotta told congressional staffers.

EPA’s general inspector is currently investigating Pruitt’s activities as head of the Environmental agency, including his December trip to Morocco.

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