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Pruitt Backtracks on Trump ‘Abusive to the Constitution’ Prediction

WASHINGTON – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday backtracked on critical comments he made against then-candidate Donald Trump in February 2016, when he predicted that Trump would be abusive to the Constitution and a dangerous bully if elected.

During a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) drew attention to the comments Pruitt made during an interview with KFAQ radio station in Tulsa, Okla.,with conservative host Pat Campbell.

During the 2016 interview, which took place about a year before the administrator was confirmed, Pruitt apparently said, “I believe that Donald Trump in the White House would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama, and that’s saying a lot.”

The former Oklahoma attorney general also agreed with Campbell’s assessment that “everything we loathe and detest about Barack Obama and his abuses of power, Trump is the same thing, except he’s our bully.”

“That’s right,” Pruitt told Campbell.

Pruitt also agreed with a comment from Campbell’s father suggesting that Trump is dangerous.

“You know, your dad is very astute,” Pruitt said.

On Tuesday, Pruitt told Whitehouse that while he appeared multiple times on Campbell’s radio show, he did not recall making those comments.

“And I don’t echo that today at all,” Pruitt added.

Democrats attacked Pruitt during the hearing for what they perceived as a lack of action on his stated goal of eliminating lead from American drinking water within a decade. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) noted that last month before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Pruitt called lead one of the “greatest environmental threats” that the U.S. faces as a country. The EPA administrator has also repeatedly referenced a “war on lead.”